TV licence transition period ends for over-75s

TV licence transition period ends for over-75s
Those who do not pay could face a £1000 fine

The transition period for ending free TV licences for the over-75s will finish on 31 July, with pensioners required to have a TV licence from Sunday if they watch live TV.

Thousands of people over the age of 75 will need to pay for a TV licence to watch live TV and BBC iPlayer, if they do not receive pension credit.

The licence fee is £159 and those who do not pay it could have to pay a fine of £1000.

The transition period was put into place due to the coronavirus pandemic, giving the over-75s nearly one year to sort out paying for a TV licence.

There are various payment options in place for the newly paying age group. These include the 75+ Plan that will allow those over the age of 75 to spread the cost of a TV licence out over weekly or monthly payments, rather than having to pay the full amount up front. The plan is designed to make it easier for the pensioners to afford a TV licence.

Those who currently receive the additional financial support known as pension credit, will be entitled to a free licence under the new scheme. According to the BBC, this is expected to be around 1.5 million households.

The group Silver Voices is among those who say that free licences should be restored for all those aged over 75.

In a message on its website it says: “Silver Voices will support and advise all senior citizens who have decided to withhold their licence fee. The immediate objective of the action is to persuade the government and the BBC to stop blaming each other and discuss ways to restore free licences as soon as possible.”

TV Licensing have said that around nine in 10 over-75s have now made arrangements to start paying for their TV licence. However, the BBC announced last month that an estimated 260,000 pensioners still needed to submit their application.

They suggested that enforcement would be explored for those refusing to pay once the transition period comes to an end.