The Government has confirmed that from 1 April 2019 the cost of the annual television licence fee will increase from £150.50 to £154.50.
The Government is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee and announced in 2016 it would rise in line with inflation for five years from 1 April 2017.
The new licence fee amount equates to just £2.97 a week or £12.87 a month, for which the BBC provides nine national TV channels plus regional programming; 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations plus dedicated Nations radio services; one of the UK’s most popular websites; the radio app BBC Sounds; and BBC iPlayer. In the last financial year 94% of the BBC’s controllable spend went on content for audiences and delivery, with just 6% spent on running the organisation. Programmes last year included Strictly Come Dancing, Killing Eve, Bodyguard, Dr Who, Peter Kay’s Car Share, David Attenborough’s Dynasties, EastEnders, Match of the Day, and coverage of Wimbledon and the World Cup.
Licence fee payers will receive a reminder or a payment plan reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal. Those buying or renewing a licence after 1 April 2019 will pay the new fee. Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before 1 April 2019, such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £150.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.
TV Licensing will be advising licence fee payers due to renew in March to pay on time so they will pay the current rate of £150.50. Those buying a new licence before 1 April 2019 will also pay the current rate.
Anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer, needs to be covered by a licence. This applies whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment. For more information about when a licence is needed, visit https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.