BBC Forced To Extend Deadline For Over-75s To Set Up Paid TV Licence After Lack Of Response.
THE BBC has been forced to extend its deadline for over-75s to set up a new paid-for television licence after more than 650,000 households did not respond to its letters setting out the change. In an update on the controversial new arrangements, the BBC said that more than 2.7m households with a resident who was over 75 had purchased licences, with another 750,000 applying for free licences available to the most vulnerable.
But a statement said that a ‘disappointing’ 16% of the group had not replied and that because of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic the corporation was “giving older people a bit more time to make arrangements for their next licence”.
The BBC said it had told the group that they are still “legally covered”. Amid claims the move amounted to an “amnesty” on threatened prosecutions, a BBC spokesperson said there was “no new policy”, adding: “We are simply giving more people time to safely set up their licences in light of the pandemic.”
Information sent to over-75s said watching television without a licence is a criminal offence carrying a fine of up to £1,000 but the corporation said nobody who previously owned an over-75 licence has been prosecuted.
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