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The TV licence fees are rising on April 1 2021 (Picture: Getty)
Like many countries in the world, the UK has a public service broadcaster paid for by a TV licence fee.
In the UK this is the BBC, and the fee is set by the government, who announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.
If you watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, TV service or device, or download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer then you need a TV licence.
Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming fee changes.
How much is the TV licence fee now?
You could be prosecuted if caught watching live TV without a licence (Picture: Getty)
At present, it costs £157.50 for a colour TV licence and £53 for a black and white TV licence.
These fees are annual costs.
You can pay for your licence all in one go or spread the cost and there are several different payment methods available on the TV licensing website.
When does the TV licence fee change and by how much?
From April 1, 2021, the annual fees will be increasing.
The new TV licence fee will change to £159 for a standard colour TV licence and £53.50 for a black and white licence.
This is an increase of £1.50 for colour and 50p for black and white.
Am I entitled to a reduced fee on a TV licence?
The BBC is the public service broadcaster in the UK (Picture: Getty)
- If you are aged 74 or over, you could be entitled to a free licence. Anyone aged 75 or over receiving Pension Credit is eligible to apply for a free TV licence, paid for by the BBC. Pension Credit can be in the name of the licence holder, or in their partner’s name if they are a couple.
- Care home residents may qualify for a discounted TV licence fee of £7.50. Residents, staff and residents’ families all need a separate licence for their own living area.
- Blind or severely sight impaired people are entitled to a 50% reduction on a TV licence fee
What happens if I don’t pay my TV licence fee?
If you are not covered by a TV licence and you watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand then you are breaking the law.
This applies to any device or provider you use, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/Blu-Ray/VHS recorder.
You could be prosecuted if caught with the maximum penalty a £1,000 fine plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay.
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