BBC: Public share their views on TV licence fee
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A television licence is required to watch or record programming as it is being broadcast live across the country. Furthermore, a licence is needed to stream any live content from streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer. As the UK’s public broadcaster, the BBC is responsible for managing the TV licence fee and making sure it is paid.
However, the UK Government has the responsibility of setting any potential discounts for people who may need assistance through a concession.
People who are registered as legally blind, or live with someone who is blind, will be able to apply for the 50 percent discount on their licence fee bill.
The price of a television licence in the UK is £159 for a colour licence and £53.50 for a black and white licence if someone were to pay full cost.
Comparatively, a television licence for a blind person would cost £79.50 for colour and £26.75 for a black and white TV licence.
In the UK, there are over two million people living and dealing with some form of sight loss, according to NHS statistics.
Of this group, some 360,000 are registered as legally blind or partially sighted by the public health provider.
In order to apply for this concession, potential claimants will need to prove to the TV Licensing body that they are legally blind.
Among the considered qualifying documentation to prove this is either a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) or a BD8 Certificate.
On top of this, a letter from an eye surgeon confirming an applicant’s blindness and a certificate from someone’s Local Authority would also count as proof to the assessor.
Those who are registered as only partially sighted or visually imparied will not qualify for the half off discount on their television licence fee.
Once the necessary information has been handed over, claimants of the discount will not need to show their evidence again when renewing their licence.
Blind discount applications can be found on the TV Licensing website.
Recently, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed that the UK Government would be freezing the rate on television licences.
This means the cost of a TV licence will remain at £159 for at least the next two years.
Many have cited the Government’s ongoing clashes with the BBC as to why this is taking place but Ms Dorries has claimed it will help struggling households who are dealing with a rise in the cost of living.
Karl Tippins, a financial expert at Pension Times, emphasises which groups will benefit the most from the TV licence freeze.
Mr Tippins explained: “With the recent news that TV licences will be frozen for two years (being kept at the current cost of £159) and will then increase in line with inflation for a further two years, is great news especially for the most vulnerable people in our society.
“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
“Keeping the licence fee frozen for two years will hopefully mean our most vulnerable pensioners will be able to keep watching TV which many have been relying on since the pandemic as their only form of socialisation.”
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