The BBC could allow all over 75s to continue to receive a free TV licence until October. But it will cost £80 million.
The Sunday Times reports the BBC Board is seriously considering a second extension to the free TV licence scheme, which was due to end at the beginning of June, but which could now last until the autumn.
Over 75s were already given a two month reprieve, when it was announced that no changes would be made until August, due to the pandemic.
Outgoing BBC Director General Tony Hall left open the option of a further extension in an interview with Andrew Marr last month, in which he deferred the decision-making to the BBC Board, who he promised would review the fate of free licences.
The DWP stopped paying for free over-75 licences at the end of May. It means any extension will be solely funded by the BBC. According to reports a further two month extension from August until October will cost £80million, which would be enough to pay for BBC Four’s entire annual budget almost twice over. Extending it for a year would eat up the entire budget of BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC News channel. Therefore, the BBC is planning to ultimately restrict free TV licences to over 75s on Pension Credit only.