The UK Government has confirmed that from April 1st 2021, the cost of the annual television licence fee will increase from £157.50 (€178.90) to £159.00.
The Government, which is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee, announced in 2016 it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 1st 2017.
The BBC notes that the increase is equivalent to less than 3p a week with the overall cost of a licence equating to just 43p a day. For this, the BBC points out that it provides BBC iPlayer; the audio app BBC Sounds; one of the UK’s most popular websites; nine national TV channels plus regional programming; 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations as well as dedicated Nations radio services.
“Our programmes and services have been at heart of UK life for almost a century and never more so than in such an unprecedented year,” says the Corporation. “Each week 91 per cent of UK adults come to the BBC, with an average of 5 million people using our services every single minute of the day and night, across TV, radio, and online.”
In the past year:
Following the Government confirming the licence fee increase, people will receive a reminder or an updated payment plan reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal.
Those buying or renewing a licence after April 1st 2021 will pay the new fee. Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before April 1st 2021, such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £157.50 until their licence comes up for renewal. Anyone buying a new licence before April 1st 2021 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.
The increase has been calculated by Government using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation, measured as the average rate of CPI over the last 12 months to September 2020, which works out at 1.075 per cent.
The cost of an annual black and white licence will rise from £53.00 to £53.50.