The BBC will go-ahead with plans to charge over-75s for a TV licence, the BBC has said.
It means more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 from August 1.
A new scheme will come into force whereby over-75s will be means-tested to see if they are eligible for a free licence.
The public service broadcaster had delayed a decision on the TV licence for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes the BBC has made the “wrong decision” on scrapping free TV licences for the over-75s.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: "We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe that they should be funded by the BBC.”
BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said: "The decision to commence the new scheme in August has not been easy, but implementation of the new scheme will be Covid-19 safe. The BBC could not continue delaying the scheme without impacting on programmes and services.
"Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit, and 450,000 of them have already applied. And critically it is not the BBC making that judgment about poverty. It is the Government who sets and controls that measure.
"Like most organisations the BBC is under severe financial pressure due to the pandemic, yet we have continued to put the public first in all our decisions.
"I believe continuing to fund some free TV licences is the fairest decision for the public, as we will be supporting the poorest oldest pensioners without impacting the programmes and services that all audiences love."
The BBC agreed to take on responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement hammered out with the Government in 2015.Labour's shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: "The refusal of the Government to fund this vital service after promising to do so is nothing short of betrayal.
"Many over-75s have spent months at home with TV providing an invaluable source of company during the pandemic. For the Government to blame the BBC who are having to contend with huge cuts is simply passing the buck."