The BBC has announced that TV licence fees for those aged over 75-years will be means tested, if a household has someone who does not receive Pensions Credit then they will have to pay for a TV licence.
Tony Hall the BBC director general said this move was “not an easy decision.”
Households that previously had a free licence will not have to pay for one from June 2020 affecting around 3.7m households.
Under the new scheme it is thought around 1.5m households will be eligible for a free licence, depending on take-up, this could cost the BBC around £250m by 2021 to 2022.
Lord Hall said, “This has not been an easy decision, whilst we know that pensioner incomes have improved since 2000, we also know that for some the TV licence is a lot of money.
“I believe we have reached the fairest judgment after weighing up all the different arguments.
“It would not be right simply to abolish all free licences. Equally, it would not be right to maintain it in perpetuity given the very profound impact that would have on many BBC services.
“This decision is fairest for the poorest pensioners. Around 1.5m households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit. It protects those most in need.
“And importantly, it is not the BBC making that judgment about poverty; it is the Government who sets and controls that measure.
“It is fairest for all audiences of all generations, old and young who we know value the BBC and the programmes and services we provide. It means these services can continue.”