The BBC has announced that from 1 January 2021, Guernsey islanders who are over 75 will have to buy a TV licence unless they are receiving Income Support.
Guernsey States decided in October 2015 to close the Island’s own over-75 TV licence scheme to new entrants. It was closed to new entrants from 1 September 2016. As part of the future policy and funding arrangements with the BBC, transitional provisions were agreed to share the cost of funding the scheme between the States of Guernsey and the BBC during 2018 and 2019, prior to the BBC taking responsibility for setting and funding the over-75 scheme and for granting any concessions.
In the UK, free TV licences for over 75 year olds ended in August, except for households with someone aged over 75 who receives the UK’s Pension Credit. Following a consultation exercise in the Islands over the summer, the BBC has now decided to end the Guernsey and Alderney universal concession for over-75s. But over-75s on Income Support will continue to receive a free TV licence paid for by the BBC. This demonstrates the BBC’s commitment to the principle of equal treatment for all British licence fee payers.
In addition to the BBC scheme, Employment & Social Security will continue to fund a scheme to provide for a free TV licence for individuals in receipt of Income Support who are between pensionable age and 75.
In December, BBC TV Licensing will be writing to approximately 3,000 Islanders who will no longer be eligible for a free licence from 1 January 2021.