Licence fee changes to Over 75s delayed by Covid-19

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The BBC has delayed the planned TV licence fee changes for over-75s until August in light of the coronavirus situation.

Free TV licences for up to 3.7 million people had been due to be scrapped on 1 June, but that has been put back to 1 August.

Sir David Clementi, BBC Chairman, said: “The BBC board has decided to delay changes to over 75s licence fees.  We are in exceptional circumstances. Now is not the right time. We are fully focussed on delivering our services to the public at this difficult time.”

Last year, the corporation announced that only low-income households where one person receives the pension credit benefit will still be eligible for a free licence.

Today, the BBC and the government issued a joint statement saying they "do not want anyone to be worried about any potential change" at the current time.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP added: "I am pleased the BBC has worked with us and agreed to delay their licence fee changes for over 75s from coming in and will keep this under review.

"It will be welcome news to millions of older people who now don't need to worry about their TV licence during this challenging period. It is right that the BBC has recognised the exceptional circumstances posed by the coronavirus outbreak and the need for the whole country to pull together in the national effort."