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  1. ITV Report

Television licence fee set to rise to £157.50 per year

The BBC says the new cost equates to £3.02 per week. Credit: PA

The cost of the annual television licence fee will increase from £154.50 to £157.50 from April 1, the BBC has said.

The fee is set by the Government, which announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.

The new cost equates to £3.02 per week, or £13.13 per month, according to the broadcaster.

The price change will not currently have an impact on the free over-75s TV licence for those eligible.

Changes to the licence fee have faced criticism over the past year. Credit: PA

Last week, Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker said that buying a TV licence should not be compulsory.

He said that if you made purchasing the licence optional, "you would lose some people, but at the same time you’d up the price a bit".

In December it was reported that Boris Johnson was looking into consulting on whether people who do not pay the licence fee should be prosecuted.

The Prime Minister has previously said he is “looking at” abolishing the BBC licence fee, adding that while the Tories were currently “not planning to get rid of all TV licence fees”, the current system “bears reflection”.

Outgoing BBC director-general Lord Hall said changes to the over-75 licence fee was 'not an easy decision'. Credit: PA

From June, only low-income over-75 viewers who receive pension credits will be entitled to a free TV licence following changes to the system in 2019.

The move was widely criticised at the time, with charity Age UK warning it could be a "shock to the budgets of many older people".

As a result of the changes around 3.7 million households which previously received a free licence will now have to pay for one.