BBC makes 'fairest decision for all' in move to fund TV licences for 'poorest' over-75s

GUERNSEY's poorest, older pensions will have their BBC TV licences funded for them from 1 January 2021, the BBC has announced.

The BBC Board has announced its decision to fund TV licences for the pensioners receiving income support in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man from 1 January 2021. (28841342)
The BBC Board has announced its decision to fund TV licences for the pensioners receiving income support in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man from 1 January 2021. (28841342)

The decision has been made by the BBC board and is the 'fairest decision for all licence fee payers', they said.

The new scheme follows a public consultation in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man and recognises that, while each island has its own system of government and circumstances, by convention residents are treated with parity to those in the UK.

Consistent with the UK decision, the BBC will not be making assessments about an individual’s ability to pay as the new schemes will use the islands’ existing welfare criteria to determine eligibility.

When making their decision, the BBC board applied the same criteria as when making the decision for the UK based on fairness, financial impact and feasibility.

In Guernsey and Alderney the BBC will pay for free TV licences for those residents who are over 75 and qualify for income support

In Sark the BBC will pay for free TV licences for those residents who are over 75 and are in receipt of financial assistance from the Procureur of Sark

Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man governments retain local powers to set and fund welfare benefits including for TV licences.

That means they can pay for any further concessions they wish to, in addition to the concession the BBC has decided to fund.

The total cost to the BBC of these new schemes will be an estimated £425,000 a year, before implementation costs.

For those who now need to pay, TV Licensing will write to them setting out what they need to do next with full details of the payment schemes available which can be made in a Covid-safe way.

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