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Government ups TV licence fee

The annual TV licence fee will increase to £147 from £145.50 on 1 April this year.

The increase marks the first rise in the licence fee since 2010.

In October that year, the coalition government announced the fee would be frozen at £145.50 until 31 March 2017.

Last year, the government announced that it would rise in line with inflation from April 2017 for the next five years.

It added that viewers already buying a licence on an instalment scheme that started before 1 April – such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments – will continue to make payments totaling £145.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.

All UK viewers who watch BBC TV or access programmes on-demand through its iPlayer catch-up service are required to pay the licence fee.

This follows a change in the law in September, which closed a ‘loophole’ that meant UK viewers who only accessed non-live BBC programming via the web did not need to pay.