BBC ‘open’ to state u-turn on licence fee

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BBC director-general Tony Hall has said the corporation would be “open to conversation” should the Government consider funding of TV licences for the over-75s once again.

The funding of free licences is due to be transferred from the Government to the BBC next year as part of an agreement hammered out in 2015.

The BBC has decided that from June 1 2020, free licences will be restricted to over-75s who claim pension credit, a move which the corporation has been widely criticised for.

Speaking as the corporation unveiled its annual report, Mr Hall said the decision taken by the BBC was not an easy one.

He said: “Let’s start by reminding ourselves who is responsible, it is the Government who is withdrawing their funding of the over 75s, they decided on that in the full knowledge, let me say, that reform was a possible outcome.”