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tv licensing over 75

The BBC could have to pay out £650 million to cover TV licenses for the over-75s. They're currently covered by the department of work and pensions, but chancellor George Osborne reportedly wants the Beeb to stump up.

According to the Sunday Times, Osborne will announce the plans in the summer budget on Wednesday.

Since 2010, the TV licence has been capped at £145.50 a year, though it's less if you're blind.

It's been under threat since earlier this year, when Beeb critic John Whittingdale was appointed culture secretary. He described the licence fee as "worse than the poll tax". So safe to say he's not a fan.

A licence fee is only required if you watch live TV. If you only watch catch-up services like iPlayer, you don't need one.

With catch-up and on-demand services on the rise, it's arguable how relevant a licence fee is. But the question is, what would replace it? And would BBC standards drop if it had less funding?

Youth channel BBC Three is already for the chop. Last week, the BBC Trust approved the move to online-only for the channel, but these approvals have to be reviewed before final approval is given. That will most likely happen in September.


Sunday Times

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