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Saturday, 11 July 2020

Free TV Licence Extension for Manx Over-75s


The BBC has confirmed that controversial reforms of the over-75 TV licence in the United Kingdom will not take place in the Isle of Man until 2021.

With effect from the 1st August 2020 only those UK over-75s in receipt of Pension Credit will be eligible for a concessionary TV licence.

Some 3.7 million households that currently receive a "free" over-75 TV licence will have to pay the full licence fee - a current cost of £157.50 - if they wish to continue viewing TV programmes (or BBC on-demand programmes via the iPlayer).

Opposition has been mounting since the BBC announced the 1st August UK implementation date, with a leading old people's charity threatening a campaign of direct action against TV Licensing.

Funding arrangements for the over-75 TV licence are slightly different on the Island. As in the UK, every over-75 household is currently eligible for a concessionary TV licence. The Manx Government picks up two-thirds of the cost and the BBC begrudgingly stumps up the remaining third.

A TV Licensing spokesman said: "The BBC recently confirmed that it will provide free TV licences to Isle of Man residents who are aged over 75 until the end of 2020.

"Pensioners who are already aged 75 or over and have received a normal or short-term licence up to the end of May 2020 are assured that this has been extended to July 2020.

"A short-term licence running to the end of December 2020 will be automatically issued in due course. Island residents who turn 75 from the end of July can also apply for a free TV licence that will run until the end of the year.

"The BBC will carry out a consultation process later this year on the future provision that will apply for Isle of Man residents from the start of 2021."

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