Department for Culture Media and Sport

licence fee reductions

TV licences are free for people aged 75 or over because they are, as a group, more likely to be reliant on television for information and entertainment, for reasons of poor health, lack of mobility and social isolation.

People who are blind or severely sight impaired pay a reduced fee. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can benefit from increased programme sub-titling.

People who are:

  • over the age of 75, many of whom may have sensory impairments, can benefit from free TV licences introduced from November 2000
  • blind or severely sight impaired can benefit from the half price television licences introduced from April 2000

Recommendation for people who are deaf and hard of hearing

The licence fee reduction for blind people was not extended to deaf and hard of hearing people. Instead, the recommendation of the Gavyn Davies Review Panel into the future funding of the BBC, that the Corporation should aim to subtitle 50% of programmes on its new digital services by 2003 and 100% by 2008, was accepted.

More subtitling, rather than a reduction in the licence fee, was favoured by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People in its evidence to the review panel.