Outrage as Millions of over 75s to lose free TV licence as perk is axed by BBC

UP TO 3.7million pensioners who previously received a free licence fee will have to pay for it from next year.

The BBC is to scrap free licences for over-75s – but households with at least one person receiving pension credit will not have to pay.

Around 900,000 households currently claim pension credit, which is a non-taxable top up for pensioners based on a person’s income.

The number of households eligible to claim the benefit is set to rise to 1.5million by 2020.

At present a TV licence costs £154.50 for a colour TV and £52 for a black and white one.

Those who are blind or severely sight-impaired are eligible to a 50 per cent discount.

BBC chairman David Clementi said it had been a “very difficult decision”.

He said: “We think its fair to those over 75 but also to all our audiences for whom there was no appetite for the level of cuts that would have been necessary if the concession had been extended.

There are people for whom this will be unwelcome news, who have not paid until now but will do so.”