BBC licence fee: How much has the fee risen in recent years?

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The BBC TV licence has been a cause of consternation for some over the years, particularly with the withdrawal of free licences for the over 75s by the Government earlier this year. But how much does a TV licence cost, and how much has this increased in modern times?

How much has the licence fee increased by over the years?

The TV licence was first introduced in June 1946 following World War 2.

This licence only cost £2 per year – and has of course risen considerably since then, mostly in line with inflation.

The level of the fee is decided following periodic negotiations between the UK Government and the BBC Trust.

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Before 1988, increases in the licence fee happened at irregular intervals, sometimes a few years passing between changes.

From 1988 to 2010, the licence fee was increased annually each April, but this changed for 2010 onwards in a new move from the BBC Trust and Government.

Between April 2010 and April 2017 the licence fee remained constant at £145.50 per year.

As of April 1, 2020, it cost £157.50 for a colour licence and £53 for a black and white TV licence.

How much is a TV licence now?

The cost of a TV licence is £159 for a colour licence and £53.50 for a black and white licence.

This equals a rise of £13.50 in 11 years.

Certain groups are entitled to a reduced rate – if you are aged 74 or over, you could be entitled to a free licence.

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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.

You can also get 50 percent reduction if you are registered blind.

Those living in care homes only need to pay £7.50 for a yearly licence.

What does the licence fee pay for?

A TV licence covers you to watch or record TV programmes live on any channel or TV service. This includes watching TV live online.

A TV licence also covers you to download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

You need a licence to watch or record any TV programme live, on any channel or TV service.

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