TV licence fee to increase from April

There will be a £3.50 TV licence fee increase from April 1, the Government has announced.

The annual fee for BBC programming will rise to £150.50 from £147.

Last year saw the first rise since 2010, and the fee is set to rise in line with inflation for five years.

The licence fee applies to anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes via iPlayer.

The charge applies whether a TV set, computer, or any other equipment is used.

Anyone buying or renewing a licence after April 1 will pay the new fee, while those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before April 1 - such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments - will continue to make payments to a total of £147 until their licence comes up for renewal.

Licence fee payers will receive a payment plan or reminder reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal.

TV Licensing, who collect the licence fee, will be advising fee payers due to renew in March to pay on time so that they will pay the current rate of £147. Anyone buying a new licence before April 1 will also pay the current rate.