BBC to hike TV licence fee from April - what you need to know

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 4:56 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 4:57 pm

The BBC licence fee will increase in April, as the broadcaster aims to save £80 million in cuts.

The broadcaster is currently axing 450 jobs across its network to save costs, with the globally recognised World Service losing 50 jobs.

The annual licence fee currently costs £154.50 but will increased to £157.50 after April 1st - a yearly increase of £3.

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Controversies at the BBC

The BBC has been at the centre of controversy since June after it scrapped free TV licence fees for over 75s, and then more recently due to a spat with pro-Brexit Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan over a children's TV programme sketch.

After winning the election in December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed that his government were reducing their availability for the broadcasters flagship early morning radio show 'The Today Programme' on Radio 4, and have made plans to scrap the illegality of not paying the licence fee.

As of Spring 2019, only over 75s obtaining pension credits will be eligible for free TV licences.

Who do these changes affect?

Everyone who owns a television and has access to BBC streaming services must pay a TV licence - whether you watch BBC programming on that TV or not.

Gary Lineker this weekend spoke out against his employer's TV licence. "You're forced to pay it if you want a TV, and therefore it's a tax," he told The Guardian.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the BBC said: "The annual price rise is in line with inflation. Anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on the iPlayer, must have a licence. This also applies to laptops, tablets and phones."

The BBC said that in the last financial year "94% of the BBC's controllable spend went on content for audiences and delivery, with just 6% spent on running the organisation".