The BBC has launched its public consultation on what, if any, TV licence fee concession should be in place for older people from June 2020.

At the moment all households with someone aged over 75 receive a TV licence free of charge. The cost of this scheme has been funded by the UK Government since Labour introduced it in 2000.

That Government-funded scheme – which is expected to cost £745m by 2021/22 – comes to an end in June 2020 when the UK Government will stop paying for it.

Any new scheme from June 2020 to provide concessions relating to TV licences for older age groups is for the BBC to consult on, decide and then pay for.

This decision is the responsibility of the BBC’s Board but the responses the BBC receives to the consultation will help them decide what to do next.

Should you wish to have your say, the BBC’s consultation is open until Tuesday 12 February 2019. To find out more, and to take part, go to If you require alternative formats (e.g Braille and audio) the consultation can be accessed by calling 0800 232 1382.

  1. Don Craigen says:

    The BBC grossly overpays far too many staff and offers too many unnecessary perks . E.g. Tax advantages ,expenses and sending too many staff on major events such as sport . If the bulk of a programme is presented from a studio why is the studio in Brazil ? “Live” reports are not compulsory and yet you persist in standing outside with no improvement to the report .
    The recent furore about the difference between male and female pay merely highlighted that too many ,including administrators, are grossly overpaid .
    To pay for this you hope to charge the most vulnerable and backup with probably the lowest average income to subsidise extravagance .

  2. Alan Hearne says:

    Dear BBC

    I write regarding the possible reinstatement of TV Licence charges to those over 75 as a result of the withdrawal of the Government subsidy in 2020.
    It is my understanding that this subsidy is significant – 20% of the total licence revenue collected and would need to be addressed in some way or other.
    As a 78 year old pensioner my income is limited to my state pension and two much smaller pensions that keep me comfortable but not in luxury. I am able to pay my way but find increases in my essential standing charges of council tax, electricity, water, heating oil etc exceed any paltry increments in pension payments.
    I have been obliged to pay for a TV Licence for the past 50 years or more and surely should now be entitled to some reduction in payment commensurate with my substantially reduced income.
    Those paying the higher rate of income tax should not be exempt.
    As we live longer there is a good case to move the age of benefit upwards just as the state retirement age is adjusted.
    The BBC is an organisation that is guaranteed income on pain of imprisonment of defaulters.
    With an annual income of circa £4 billion pounds it can afford to pay exceptional fees and expenses to its employees possibly to attract the “best” uninhibited from lack of funds.
    A recent Dr Who program featuring Jodie Whittaker had a cast of 10 actors in the credits and ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY SEVEN additional credits for behind the scenes staff – incredible and somewhat outrageous expenditure!
    I would propose that free TV Licences continue for the benefit of pensioners, adjusting the age of entitlement in line with Government retirement age, that only basic rate tax payers would qualify and that excessive spending by the Corporation is trimmed to align with the reduced income.

  3. David Dodds says:

    Wasn’t this initiative started by the government of the day? Surely if the UK is one of the ‘richest countries in the world’, to quote government propaganda, and we are now leaving the ‘period of austerity’ then the oldest members of our society should be given a helping hand by Central Goverment to benefit from an information rich world. National broadcasting is one of the few avenues open to many housebound, or computer illiterate, or rurally deprived old citizens to keep informed or entertained. Goodness me, they have paid enough into the National Chest over a lifetime, through National Service, a lifetime of employment, voluntary work, and taxation. We live in a Broken Society in many aspects of daily life for the elderly. A free license is one contribution the government can make.

  4. Graeme Dott says:

    The fee should have remained a gift from Government. The BBC was wrong to have accepted it being ‘dumped’ on it. It will be a PR problem but the BBC must have the maximum income stream it can. Personally I would charge the fee at full rate until 85; but with the to be expected outcry, just keep it for life.

    This is a rerun of the World Service costs being passed back to the BBC.

    Neither are acceptable Government Policy.

  5. Simply put, this is a question for Government, not the BBC. Rescinding on previously agreed direct support to pensioners and leaving the BBC to pick up the pieces is the problem. However we are where we are and BBC needs to find a way to compensate . Means testing older households is not the answer and neither is partial return to paying by pensioners, both of which must involve massive hidden administration costs. The BBC is value for money in today’s world and priceless in setting reporting standards worldwide. Government needs to reinstate partial support as gesture of valuing BBC and the BBC needs to absorb remaining extra costs by increasing licence fee. A longer term solution needs developing where licencing is linked to individuals and not households but this is more complex and beyond scope of this consultation.

  6. F Morgan says:

    To consider withdrawing free T.V license for the over 75 whilst paying obscene amounts to news and radio presenters-you know who they are- is morally wrong.

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