BBC licence fee freeze to benefit ‘most vulnerable’ in tax heavy 2022

BBC licence fee freeze will ‘affect’ output says Tim Davie

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The funding freeze news came last week as the Prime Minister tried to coax rebellious Tories upset by ‘partygate’ revelations back onside. Speaking to the House of Commons on Monday, Ms Dorries said the Government intends to freeze the licence fee at its current rate of £159 until 2024. After then, it will rise with inflation until its funding guaranteed by the Royal Charter ends in 2027.

Experts have criticised the announcement, stating a well-funded BBC is vital for British culture.

But others have argued it will ease the burden on those saddled with the fee following changes introduced in 2020.

From August 1 that year, the Government ended 20 years of free licensing for over-75s.

Since then, only Pension Credit recipients have retained the benefit.

Karl Tippins, a financial expert at Pension Times, backs the move.

He said the announcement was “great news, especially for the most vulnerable people in our society”.

Mr Tippins said the plans would give pensioners some relief with the limited increase to their income in 2022.

He said: “Pensioners across the country will be thrilled with the news, especially as their pensions will only rise by 3.1 percent in April.

“Many elderly people will be cutting costs in order to pay the basic bills potentially.”

Freezing the license fee for two years should “hopefully mean”, he said, that “our most vulnerable pensioners will be able to keep watching TV”.

Many pensioners relied on television as their “only form of socialisation” during the pandemic, he added.

The BBC agreement will grant pensioners a brief reprieve from what promises to be a taxing year for everyone else.

The Government has introduced a raft of changes to restructure the economy after Covid restrictions pass this month.

Among the drawbacks for pensioners was a manifesto-busting policy that would only increase their income by 3.1 percent.

In total, that means they receive an additional £290 per year from April.

Mr Sunak nixed the pensions triple lock started in 2010 by removing the earnings growth aspect, creating a “double lock” instead.

Without this measure, the state pension would have increased by an unprecedented eight percent.

Outside of the pensions world, people will need to endure a push from the Government to fund the ailing health and social care sector.

Ministers proposed a 1.25 percent increase to National Insurance to cover this, effective from April 2022.

Dividend tax will increase at the same rate, while a fiscal freeze risks dragging people into a higher tax bracket.

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