Goodbye BBC licence fee – the four groups of Britons who are due a refund or discount

Andrew Neil describes BBC licence fee as a 'Straitjacket'

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Some 270,000 more Britons cancelled their TV licence in 2021 compared to the year before because they realised they didn’t need a TV licence. However, thousands could still be forking out for a TV licence unnecessarily because they aren’t sure who needs a TV licence.

The number of UK residents declaring they did not require a licence hit 1.96 million in 2021 to 2022, according to official figures from the BBC.

That works out at 270,000 more people than usual who decided they didn’t need a TV licence last year saving themselves £159 a year.

One reason why the BBC saw more cancellations could be that Britons have been struggling to find the money for soaring energy bills and the rising cost of food and petrol.

Another likely factor is that more and more people are watching streaming services like YouTube and Netflix and no longer watching the BBC.

Who needs a TV licence?

In total, five groups of people could be entitled to a reduction or refund on their TV licence.

Blind or severely sight impaired people are entitled to a 50 percent reduction on their TV licence.

Residents in care homes that have ARC schemes only have to pay a concessionary rate of £7.50, while those over-75s in residences with ARC schemes are eligible for a free licence.
Britons who only watch Netflix and YouTube don’t need a licence.

Over 75s in receipt of Pension Credit are also entitled to a free TV licence and don’t have to pay the £159 annual cost.

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Thousands of pensioners who are struggling to survive the cost of living crisis should apply for pension credit.

If they qualify they will also be entitled to additional financial help including a free TV licence if they are also over 75 years old.

Nearly one million (850,000) Britons are thought to be entitled to pension credit but not claiming according to official figures.

People can go to GOV.UK and answer a few simple questions to see if they qualify for extra support.

Meanwhile, anyone who watches live TV on any channel, not just the BBC, currently has to fork out £159 for a TV licence every year.

However, the BBC said the vast majority of people still watch the BBC every week.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The overwhelming majority of households are licensed, sales increased this year and 90 percent of people use the BBC each week.”

Cancellations could be due to heightened awareness of who needs a licence, people moving house and a bigger reliance on streaming services.

How to get a refund on your TV licence:

On the TV Licensing website it says: “Please check you won’t need your licence again before it expires.

“That means you won’t ever be watching TV live on any channel or service, or using BBC iPlayer.

“If we approve your refund, your licence will be cancelled automatically. People can go to to find out more about whether they are eligible for a refund or discount.”

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