BBC Director-General Tony Hall has continued to leave open the possibility that licence fee changes to the over 75s could be delayed, although the move would come at a price.
Changes to the system that were due to take place at the beginning of June have already been delayed until August because of the current crisis.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One, he confirmed the timing of the introduction of the revised over 75s scheme is still due to be reviewed by the BBC Board.
Having been asked if the change would be delayed, he told Andrew Marr:
We’re preparing for an August launch but on the other hand they’ve [the BBC Board] also made it quite clear at the time – that they would review the situation nearer the time and that’s exactly the version, there’s nothing new in that.
The Government is ceasing to fund free TV licences for over 75s after this week. The delay in implementing changes to the scheme until August will result in the BBC having to pay from its own budgets. If the scheme was to be extended, it would cost £745million per year by 2021-22 – that’s more than the entire budget for BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel and both children’s channels. The revised scheme is still expected to cost around £250million a year.