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Television: Licensing

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL17740, tabled on 5 September 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in guaranteeing free TV licences for over-75s.

Answered on

2 October 2019

In the 2015 licence fee funding settlement, the government agreed with the BBC that responsibility for the over 75s TV licence fee concession would transfer to the BBC in June 2020. This reform was then debated extensively and agreed to by Parliament during the passage of the Digital Economy Act 2017. This legislation provides that the future of the concession is the responsibility of the BBC, not of the government.

The government remains disappointed with the BBC’s decision to restrict the concession to only those aged over 75 in receipt of Pension Credit. My colleague the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport recently met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and asked them to do more to help those affected by its decision. Discussions continue between government officials and the BBC.