Why huge changes could be made to the TV licence fee for over 75s

Why huge changes could be made to the TV licence fee for over 75s

Since 2000, over 75s have been exempt from paying the TV licence fee, with these costs being covered by the government. The expected costs of the licence fee for over 75s is £745m! This scheme is due to come to an end in 2020 meaning there will be a 12 week consultation period from November to February to decide the future of this scheme.

Four ideas have been suggested for discussion

Scrap free licence fees for over 75s

This would mean all over 75s would need to pay the standard licence cost of £150.50 for a colour TV.

This idea is backed by many who believe the living conditions of over 75s in the UK has overall improved.

Replace the licence fee with a 50 per cent concession for over 75s

This would mean over 75s would have to pay half of the usual license fee cost.

Increase the age threshold

It has been suggested that the age could increase from 75 to either 77 or even 80, in order to align with other benefits such as the winter fuel allowance. It’s also argued that by the age of 80, rather than 75, most are living alone.

Means testing

As with many benefits that are means tested, some believe this is a fair way to see if over 75s are eligible to have their licence fee covered for them. Some have argued a free licence fee should be granted to over 75s claiming pension credit whilst others believe anyone claiming pension credit should be eligible for a free TV license.