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BBC licence fee to rise to £150.50

The price is going up.
The price is going up.

The annual fee for BBC programming increased for the first time since 2010 in 2017 after the Government said it would rise in line with inflation for five years.

The announcement comes as the corporation faces scrutiny over gender pay inequality.

Director-general Lord Tony Hall recently faced questions from MPs about pay imbalance following evidence from Carrie Gracie, who resigned as the BBC's China editor over unequal pay.

Jeremy Vine and John Humphrys are among the top talent who have said they are willing to take a pay cut to contribute to closing the gender pay gap at the corporation.

Anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer, must have a licence.

The charge applies whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.

Licence fee payers will receive a payment plan or a reminder reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal.

Those buying or renewing a licence after April 1 will pay the new fee while those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before April 1 - such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments - will continue to make payments totalling £147 until their licence comes up for renewal.

TV Licensing, the body tasked with collecting the fee, will be advising licence fee payers due to renew in March to pay on time so that they will pay the current rate of £147.

Those buying a new licence before April 1 will also pay the current rate.