BBC: Public share their views on TV licence fee
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A TV licence costs £159 a year but not everyone needs one and others could be entitled to a reduction depending on their circumstances. Four groups of people could make savings by cancelling their BBC licence and asking for a refund.
Peoples’ viewing habits have changed since the BBC licence fee was first introduced in June 1946.
Back then the TV licence covered the black and white single-channel BBC television service and cost just £2 – equivalent to £88.26 today.
These days people are less likely to watch live TV with many Britons relying on catch up TV, Netflix and Youtube.
For those who rely on streaming services like YouTube and Netflix a TV licence costing £13.25 a month might be unnecessary.
Do I need a TV licence?
Pensioners who are 75 and receiving Pension Credit are entitled to a free TV licence
People who are blind or partially sighted are entitled to a 50 percent reduction.
Britons who live in care homes should get a free TV licence or pay just £7.50 if they are part of an ARC scheme.
People can watch Youtube, Netflix and other streaming services without a licence as long as they don’t watch live TV on any channel.
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A TV Licensing spokesperson said there are some cases when a TV licence is not necessary.
They said: “You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever use Netflix or other online TV services to watch on demand or catch up programmes, except if you’re watching BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.”
“If you only watch on demand programmes on Netflix and don’t watch TV live on any TV or streaming service, and don’t watch BBC iPlayer, you may cancel your TV Licence if you won’t need it again before it expires.”
Pensioners also qualify for a free TV licence if they are over 75-years-old and claiming Pension Credit.
A report by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that £1.7billion in pension credit went unclaimed in the 2019 to 2020 financial year.
Some 850,000 families could be missing out on pension credit worth an average of £1,900 per year.
Even if state pensioners are only entitled to a few pounds, it’s still worth claiming as it may open the door to other benefits.
To check eligibility, people should go to GOV.UK or speak to their local benefits office.
Can I get a refund on my TV licence?
On the TV Licensing website it says: “Please check you won’t need your licence again before it expires.
“That means you won’t ever be watching TV live on any channel or service, or using BBC iPlayer.
“If we approve your refund, your licence will be cancelled automatically.”
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