Entertainment & Arts

TV licence fee to rise to £147 in April, government announces

BBC cameraman
Image caption The licence fee was frozen at £145.50 in 2010

The UK's annual television licence fee is to rise to £147 from £145.50, the government has announced.

The increase, which will come into effect on 1 April, marks the first rise in the licence fee since 2010.

In October that year, the coalition government announced the fee would be frozen at £145.50 until 31 March 2017.

Last year, the government announced that it would rise in line with inflation from April 2017 for the next five years.

The Government is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee, which covers all BBC services and contributes to the costs of rolling out broadband to the UK population.

It also helps to fund the Welsh Language TV channel S4C and local TV channels.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The new fee will come into effect on 1 April

Licence fee payers will receive a payment plan or a reminder reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal, the BBC said in a statement.

Those buying or renewing a licence after 1 April will pay the new fee.

Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before 1 April will continue to make payments totalling £145.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.

The announcement comes two days after BBC director general Tony Hall ordered an investigation into reports TV licence fee collectors targeted vulnerable people, spurred on by an aggressive incentive scheme.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The BBC closed the so-called "iPlayer loophole" last year

Last year, the government set out major changes to the way the BBC is run as part of the corporation's charter renewal.

It guaranteed the licence fee would continue for at least 11 years and will be linked to inflation.

Other changes included closing the so-called "iPlayer loophole" - which meant viewers who only watched BBC content via the catch-up service did not need a TV licence.

That loophole was closed in September last year.

It was also announced that the salaries of BBC employees and freelancers earning more than £150,000 per year will be published.

The culture secretary at the time, John Whittingdale, said the BBC must put "distinctive content" at its heart.


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