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BBC: No to chasing the elderly for TV licence

© Steve Parsons/PA WireThe TV licence fee is set to rise (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

BBC director-general Tim Davie has signalled that over-75s will not be threatened with legal action over non-payment of the TV licence fee.

The universal right to a free TV licence ended last year for the age group and now only those in receipt of pension credit do not have to pay.

Former cricketer Lord Botham, backed by more than 20 other members of the House of Lords, urged Mr Davie to ensure TV Licensing, which logs whether or not households own a licence, makes an “explicit pledge” they “will never prosecute anyone over 75”.

In his email response, Mr Davie said: “We are not sending any enforcement letters to older people who previously held a free licence. There are no visits taking place in relation to over-75 licences at this time.

“When free TV licences were introduced by the Labour Government in 2000, we understand according to the Ministry of Justice that no one over 75 was prosecuted between 1992-1999.

“We are giving people time to transition which has been extended further because of Covid.

“We have now transitioned 3.6 million households. The majority have paid in one go and over 770,000 have applied for free TV licences.”