Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert warns TV Licence will increase – but some will not pay | Personal Finance | Finance

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, is well-known for providing the latest tips and tricks to help Britons slash their costs. Appearing on his self-titled Money Show on ITV, Martin highlighted the issue of TV Licence payments which have garnered a certain amount of controversy recently. The TV Licence is a payment Britons must meet if they wish to watch live television at home.

Although the payments go towards funding the BBC and its services, Britons will be required to pay the licence fee regardless of what television channel they are watching.

In the past, over 75s were not required to pay, but following a rule change in August 2020, the free licence was removed, except in certain circumstances.

In the latest announcement, as Martin highlighted on tonight’s show, the TV Licence payment is set to rise.

Martin said: “The TV licence is going up on April 1, by £1.50.

“This means the payment will now be £159.”

READ MORE: Capital Gains Tax could be set for ‘wide-reaching’ changes on Tax Day

The sum is a gateway benefit to a free TV Licence, but, as Martin highlighted, many are failing to claim.

Martin stated over one million eligible pensioners are not receiving Pension Credit at the moment, despite being entitled to do so.

As a result, they are missing out on substantial payments as well as the opportunity to procure a free TV Licence – something of particular importance to many older people.

Therefore, Martin has urged people to investigate the issue further to see if they do not need to meet the TV Licence cost.

Pension Credit can be claimed for online, by phone or by post to create ease for those hoping to receive the sum from the Government.

Also exempt from paying, Martin noted, are individuals who do not watch any live television on any channel whatsoever. 

He said individuals who are watching programmes, such as his show, on “catch up” only will not have to pay the fee.

However, the TV Licence also includes services such as BBC iPlayer, which allows individuals to watch back BBC programmes, so it is important to make this distinction.

In most circumstances, people will not need a TV Licence to watch programmes on streaming services.

The TV Licensing company explained: “You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever watch programmes on demand on streaming, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV.

“You need a TV Licence to download or watch programmes on BBC iPlayer, apart from S4C live.”

The TV Licence fee increase equates to an extra 43 pence per day, according to the broadcaster.

The fee is outlined by the Government, who stated in April 2017 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years. 

Previously, discussions had taken place as to whether decriminalisation of non-payment of the TV Licence could be enacted.

However, these plans were later shelved but kept “under active consideration”. 

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to

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