The universal free TV licence for over-75s has come to an end, in what has been called a “sad day for our older population”.
The universal free TV licence for over-75s comes to an end today, with the BBC moving to means-test the entitlement for the first time since 2000.
The BBC will now means-test the entitlement, having previously delayed the move due to the coronavirus crisis.
From 1 August, pensioners will be liable to pay £157.50 to purchase a licence unless they receive a pension credit because their monthly income is so low.
But Age UK has warned many pensioners will be hit with the “deplorable” choice of switching off their TV or watching illegally.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said: “This is a sad day for our older population, many of whom are feeling badly let down by both the government and the BBC over the demise of these free licences.”
She said that “more than half a million of the poorest pensioners will still have to pay for a licence, cut spending on other essentials like food or heating, give up TV altogether or keep watching without a licence, in breach of the law” because they still do not qualify for pension credit.
More than three million households are expected to lose the entitlement, and TV licencing will write to them throughout August advising what they have to do.