Pensioner says she'll 'go to jail' over BBC TV licence fee
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Some 270,000 more Britons cancelled their TV licence in 2021 than usual but Express.co.uk readers are saying they are surprised it wasn’t more. Not everyone needs a TV licence and cancelling it could save someone £159 a year.
The number of domestic customers declaring that they did not require a licence reached 1.96 million in 2021 to 2022, according to official figures from the BBC.
That works out at 270,000 more people than usual who decided they didn’t need a TV licence last year, but readers are saying they are surprised it isn’t a lot more.
One reader @johngeorge said: “Surprised it is not a lot more – are these figures correct?’
Another @ter Minator wrote: “I bet there are at least another three million who have stopped paying and haven’t declared that they don’t need a licence to watch live as shown on TV or iPlayer?”.
However, some people have been showing support for the BBC.
Reader @ancient doctoral mariner said: “Don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t watch the BBC.
“At least you don’t get programmes ruining by numerous interruptions for adverts or “messages from our sponsor”.
“But I do understand why our current government doesn’t like the BBC, they are, after all, one of the few (the only?) broadcasters that actually tell the truth!”
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Anyone who watches live TV on any channel, not just the BBC, currently has to fork out £159 for a TV licence every year but it’s a cost that has caused controversy among Britons for years.
In 2020 the BBC stopped providing free TV licences for all over-75s affecting thousands of pensioners.
However, retirees who receive Pension Credit are still eligible if they are on a low income.
Many pensioners rely on the radio or TV to help keep them company and fend off loneliness.
It’s not just older people who begrudge forking out for a TV licence, many younger people now don’t watch live TV.
Viewing habits have changed with many Britons only watching Netflix and YouTube.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The overwhelming majority of households are licensed, sales increased this year and 90 percent of people use the BBC each week.”
Cancellations could be due to heightened awareness of who needs a licence, people moving house and a bigger reliance on streaming services.
In total, five groups of people could be entitled to a reduction or refund on their TV licence.
Blind or severely sight impaired people are entitled to a 50 percent reduction on their TV licence.
Residents in care homes that have ARC schemes only have to pay a concessionary rate of £7.50, while those over-75s in residences with ARC schemes are eligible for a free licence.
Over 75s in receipt of Pension Credit are also entitled to a free TV licence and don’t have to pay the £159 annual cost.
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