The cost of a television licence is set to go up from 1 April this year, the Government has confirmed.

The increase, to £147 a year, is the first since April 2010 and comes after it was announced last year that the fee would rise in line with inflation for five years from 2017.

Those who need a TV licence include:

  • anyone watching or recording programmes as they are shown on TV

  • anyone watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch-up or on demand

It does not matter whether a TV set, computer, or any other equipment is used.

The full licence fee goes up to £147 from £145.50, while a black and white licence will cost 50p more in future, going up to £49.50.

Anyone who is severely sight impaired is entitled to a 50% concession and a licence fee will cost them £73.50 from 1 April.

TV licences are free for anyone over 75, but that is not automatic and they must apply for the concession.

News of the rise comes days after the BBC faced claims that its outsourced licence fee enforcement staff were being excessively aggressive with vulnerable people who had not paid.

The broadcaster has called for an investigation and said that staff at Capita - who hold the enforcement contract from the BBC - had "fallen short".

Director General Tony Hall also asked for "urgent clarification and reassurance" that vulnerable people were not being"targeted".

Capita have said their staff follow a strict code of conduct.