Are you ready to pay your TV licence?

On behalf of our older readers, the editor of the BBB decided to contact the BBC as to why they thought it necessary to ask the over 75's to start paying for a TV licence from August 1st 2020.

You will see below a copy of the letter we sent to the BBC, followed by their response. Make of it what you will.

The weakest and yet most deserving members of our society are being kicked in the teeth by your callous decision to remove one of the very few perks left to them. I'm talking about what was the free TV licence for the over 75's which in your perverted wisdom you have decreed that they must now pay. You ought to be ashamed of yourself from making such a decision and if you had an ounce of conscience in the boardroom you would rescind the decision and make your savings elsewhere. The whole of the BBC is top heavy and would operate perfectly well with half the corporate staff - and as for the salaries of some of your performers? Well they are beyond a joke. Come on now and do the right thing by the people who do not deserve to be treated in this callous manner. This appeal will probably be ignored but what you are hearing is not a lone voice in the wilderness but the combined and angry voices of the whole nation!

This was their response.

Thank you for sharing your views about the future of TV licences for the over 75s. We fully understand there are strong opinions because this was a difficult decision.
Since others have also contacted us making similar points we are sending this reply to everyone to explain the position in detail. We have published more information online which is also available at Here are some of the key points:
The Government decided to stop funding free TV licences for all over 75s from June 2020. Parliament - under the law - then gave the BBC the power to decide the future and consult. The difference is any funding would have to come from the BBC’s budget for programmes and services.
We consulted and over 190,000 people took part - this was the largest consultation the BBC has ever run. There was a small majority who wanted to change the concession and many who felt strongly that the concession should continue. There was little support for abolishing the concession. Many raised pensioner poverty and social isolation as key concerns, others raised concerns about cuts to the BBC. There was little public appetite to cut BBC services.
The BBC decided that the fairest thing to do was protect the poorest older pensioners - that is why we decided to provide free TV licences to those over 75 who receive Pension Credit. This will cost the BBC £250 million, around 6% of the budget. This was also the fairest thing to do for all licence fee payers, because the overall cost of continuing the scheme for everyone would be £745 million and rising. This would lead to profoundly damaging cuts and closures of key BBC services including BBC Two, BBC Four, Radio 5 Live, the Scotland Channel and some local radio stations.
Some people have suggested that the £745 million cost of paying for free TV licences for all those over 75 could be covered if we cut pay for our talent, senior managers and staff. This is simply not true. Even if we stopped employing every presenter currently earning over £150,000 that would save less than £20 million. If no senior manager were paid over £150,000 that would save £5 million. This would not make up anywhere near the difference.
This was not an easy decision to make, but we put fairness at the heart of our decision – fairness to the poorest older pensioners and fairness to all licence fee payers. If we had continued with the scheme in its current form, its quickly rising cost would have meant profoundly damaging closures of major services that we know audiences - and older audiences in particular - love, use, and value every day.
We delayed the introduction of the new scheme as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme will now move forward on 1 August, but safety will be at its heart:
Implementation of the new scheme will be Covid-19 safe. No one needs to take any immediate action, or leave their home, to claim for a free TV licence or pay for one
TV Licensing will be writing to all over 75 licence holders with clear guidance. For those who now need to pay, they have a range of options and can choose to pay weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, if they don’t want to pay the licence fee all in one go
We have set up specialist telephone contact centres to help people. People can also go online
The BBC has been working with a range of external organisations to help support people during this time
We hope this has explained the position. The information you can read at has further detail, including reports from the consultation which the BBC Board considered before reaching its decision.
If you or someone you know is approaching or is over 75 there is no need to do anything, since the free licence continues until 1 August and TV Licensing will be in touch before then about what to do. If you need more information about this please visit

Thank you again for contacting us.

BBC Complaints Team

Make what you will of this somewhat expected but rather pathetic response. However, if you do not qualify for a free licence, then do not attempt to pay until you receive an official letter from the BBC. There are a number of scammers out there trying to persuade you to pay now - Ignore all requests until you receive the officiall BBC letter.

TV Licensing will only ask you to pay using the following options:

By post using the address: TV Licensing,
PO Box 578, Darlington DL98 1AN

Online at or
Over the phone on 0300 790 6151

If you are contacted and asked to pay for your TV licence using a different phone number, a different website or by posting your details to a different address you have been contacted by a scammer.
TV Licensing have also been clear that they will not come to your doorstep to collect the licence fee if you are over 75, so anyone who claims to do so is also a scammer.

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