BBC licence fee freeze will ‘affect’ output says Tim Davie
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Last week, the Government confirmed that the annual cost for a television licence would be frozen for two years to help struggling households deal with the rising cost of living. This came as a blow to the BBC which was likely hoping for TV licence payments to be hiked in line with the rate of inflation, as it has done in years before. As a result of this, the average television licence will cost £159 for at least the next two years, after which the Government will review alternative funding options for the BBC.
While many Britons are avoiding paying more for their BBC bill, various discounts are on offer which could see people getting 50 percent of their licence or even getting it for free.
If someone is considered severely visually impaired or blind, they will be able to get a half-price discount on their TV licence.
When this discount is used, a blind concession TV Licence is priced at £79.50 if it is in colour and £26.75 for a black and white TV Licence.
This discount is also available to people who live with a blind person, however the licence must be under the name of the person who is visually impaired.
To qualify for this concession, claimants must send evidence of their blindness to TV Licensing as part of their application.
This evidence can include either a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) or BD8 Certificate which acts as proof of diagnosis.
Alternatively, blind applicants can send a certificate or document issued by a Local Authority that shows you are registered as legally.
Furthermore, a copy of a certificate from an eye surgeon confirming someone’s blindness can also be used.
Outside of this discount, TV licence holders who are 75 or older and claiming Pension Credit will be able to apply for a 100 percent discount.
Free television licenses are available to older households where the licence holder, or their partner, receives this particular benefit.
Pension Credit gives extra money to low income households to help with living costs if they are over the state pension age.
Anyone who believes they are eligible for this concession is encouraged by TV Licensing to call 0300 790 6117 in order to speak to one of their advisors to request an application form.
If, when applying for any of the mentioned discounts, a claimant’s circumstances substantially change, they must inform TV Licensing as soon as possible.
Examples of changes include if the license holder has passed away or if they have moved home or been transferred to a residential facility.
Karl Tippins, a financial expert at Pension Times, outlined why the recent TV licence freeze will be beneficial to pensioners outside of the already existing discounts and concessions.
Mr Tippins said: “With the recent news that TV licenses will be frozen for two years (being kept at the current cost of £159) and will then increase in line with inflation for a further two years, is great news especially for the most vulnerable people in our society.
“Pensioners across the country will be thrilled with the news especially as their pensions will only rise by 3.1 percent in April.
“Many elderly people will be cutting costs in order to pay the basic bills potentially, so keeping the license fee frozen for two years will hopefully mean our most vulnerable pensioners will be able to keep watching TV which many have been relying on since the pandemic as their only form of socialization.”
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