David Dimbleby says that TV licence system is ‘very unfair’
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Every household requires a television licence in order to watch programming as it is being broadcast live. It is also needed to stream live content on services such as BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime. Those who are diagnosed as being blind are eligible to apply for a sizeable 50 percent discount on their TV licence bill.
The BBC is responsible for the administration of the licence fee as the UK’s public broadcaster.
Despite this, the Government is charged with setting concessions and discounts for vulnerable groups.
Among those groups are blind people who can get 50 percent off the overall price of the television licence.
It should be noted that those who live with someone who is blind will benefit from this discount as a TV licence covers the whole household, not just one person.
As it stands, the licence fee in the UK is £159 for a colour licence and £53.50 for a black and white licence if households pay the full amount.
Taking into account the 50 percent discount, a TV licence for a blind person would cost £79.50 for colour and £26.75 for a black and white TV licence.
Currently, there are over two million people living and dealing with some form of sight loss, according to NHS statistics.
Around 360,000 are classified as being legally blind or partially sighted of this wider group of people.
To apply, households will need to submit evidence to the TV Licensing body that they qualify for the blind discount.
Examples of qualifying documentation include either a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) or a BD8 Certificate.
As well as this, a letter from an eye surgeon confirming an applicant’s blindness and a certificate from someone’s Local Authority count as evidence.
Applications for the blind discount can be found on the TV Licensing website and successful claimants will not need to apply again when renewing their licence.
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The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has previously outlined who is entitled for this support on this website, as well as those who are unable to apply for it.
The charity stated: “If you are registered blind (severely sight impaired) then you are entitled to a ‘blind concession TV Licence’ which gives you 50 percent off the cost of your TV Licence.
“Unfortunately you are not entitled to this if you are registered as partially sighted or sight impaired.
“The blind concession TV Licence covers anyone who lives with you, as long as the licence is in your name.
“If your licence is in someone else’s name then you can change this and then claim the reduction.”
According to the organisation, there is an alternative way residents in Northern Ireland can prove their eligibility for this concession.
RNIB added: “If you live in Northern Ireland, you can now apply for the concession by obtaining a letter from your community optometrist stating that you are eligible for Certification of Severe Sight Impairment (SSI), which can be used as evidence to apply for a blind concession TV Licence.
“The RNIB are working with TV Licensing to make this agreement UK wide as soon as possible.”
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