From Saturday 1st April 2017, the cost of the annual TV licence fee will increase to £147, the Government has confirmed today.

This is the first time the licence fee has increased since April 2010. The Government is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee, and last year announced that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from 1 April 2017.

Licence fee payers will receive a payment plan or a reminder reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal. Those buying or renewing a licence after 1 April will pay the new fee. Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before 1 April – such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments – will continue to make payments totalling £145.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.

Mark Whitehouse, spokesperson for TV Licensing in the West Midlands, said: “The free concession for those aged over 75 remains, although as at present this is not issued automatically, and anyone entitled to the concession must apply for it. If you are blind (severely sight impaired) you are entitled to a 50 per cent concession on the cost of a TV Licence. From 1 April 2017, this amount will be £73.50.

“TV Licensing provides a range of ways to pay, including small weekly cash payments and annual Direct Debit. Payers can view their details on line at any time, and can choose to receive correspondence from TV Licensing by email, rather than by post,” he said.

Anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer needs to be covered by a licence. This applies whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment. For more information about when a licence is needed, visit tvlicensing.co.uk/info