The government has announced that the BBC’s television licence fee is set to rise by £4 in April.
The full fee will now cost £154.50 a year, up from its current total of £150.50.
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The government announced in 2016 that the licence fee would now be in line with inflation from April 2017 for the next five years. Those who renew their licence fee before April will pay the lower price for another year.
The licence fee allows viewers to watch the nine national TV channels, in addition to regional programming, 10 national radio stations and numerous local radio stations.
The fee also provides access to BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer – a previous loophole, which allowed viewers to watch BBC programming on their laptop without a licence, was closed last year.
From April 1st, the licence fee will amount to £2.97 a week or £12.87 a month.
The raise in price comes after the BBC warned it may have to make serious changes to the licence fee for over 75s.
At the moment, any household with an occupant aged 75 or older is entitled to a free licence. This is currently funded by the government, but is expected to be shouldered by the BBC when the scheme comes up for renewal in June 2020.
In a consultation document about the over-75 licence fee, the BBC said it would cost the corporation £745 million in 2021/22 – a fifth of the BBC’s budget and equivalent to what it spends in total on BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, the BBC News Channel and children’s channels CBBC and CBeebies, and more than the cost of its radio stations.
Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “This is an important decision. We have set out a range of options – each has merits and consequences, with implications for the future of the BBC, and for everyone, including older people.
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“We need to hear views to help the BBC make the best and fairest decision.”