BBC begins process that could see free TV licences for over 75s scrapped

Over 75s can watch Strictly for free at the moment. (BBC)

The BBC has launched a consultation that could mean the end of free TV licences for the over 75s.

Currently all households with people over 75 are entitled to a free licence, but that could change when the BBC takes control of the scheme in two years’ time.

In September, the BBC’s director-general, Lord Hall, admitted the corporation could scrap the television licences when it takes responsibility for the scheme in 2020.

He told MPs at the time: ‘We have got to be mindful of two things: we know the over-65s and over-75s consume many, many more BBC services than others. On the other hand, there is real hardship among some or many of those over 75.

‘This is such a difficult balance. It could continue exactly as it is. We could change it. I don’t know what the board [of governors] will decide.

‘This is a very difficult issue.’

There were 4,455,000 over-75s licences in force in 2017, which cost the BBC around £725m – about one-fifth of its budget.

BBC chairman David Clementi said: ‘We will listen to their views and balance all the options and arguments before making a decision.

‘The board does not underestimate the significance of the decision, its implications for the BBC and its audiences.’

What is an over 75 TV Licence?

After your 75th birthday, you can get a free TV Licence. It covers you as well as anyone you live with.

Please remember that you don’t automatically get an over 75 TV Licence on your 75th birthday. You have to apply for one.

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