The BBC have issued an update regarding TV licences for those over the age of 75.

It comes after a national newspaper reported earlier this week on the introduction of mandatory TV licences for over 75s - suggesting they would be making them pay the annual charge of £157.50 from this October, rather than August.

However, the BBC have quickly moved to clarify the situation.

What have the BBC said?

In relation to an article published in the Daily Express, a BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC has made no such decision and it is wrong to suggest we have.

"The BBC's position is that we have delayed implementation until August - and we are doing what we have always said - which is keeping that decision under review.

"The BBC will announce its decision in July."

Why were the plans delayed?

Initially, over-75s would have had to begin paying in June, but plans were pushed back to August in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

TV licenses were deemed necessary in keeping over-75s - who are more at risk from the effects of Covid-19 - informed as the pandemic spread.

Chairman of the BBC, Sir David Clementi, said at the time: "The BBC board has decided to delay changes to over 75s licence fees.

"We are in exceptional circumstances. Now is not the right time. We are fully focused on delivering our services to the public at this difficult time."

Reaction to the move

Lord Foulkes, the chairman of the All-Party Group for Ageing and Older People, said: "The Government should cover the cost as a social benefit and not burden the BBC, which is already strapped for cash.

"We will continue to work on this vital campaign alongside the likes of Age UK, as well as a growing number of MPs and peers."

Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, added: "While many older people are being advised to stay mostly at home, or are too worried to go out, free TV licences for over-75s should continue.

"The last thing they need is to have to get to grips with a new TV licence scheme, or risk prosecution if they get it wrong."

When were free TV licences for over 75s introduced?

Free TV licences for over 75s were introduced by Labour PM Gordon Brown, and were first paid for by a Labour government in 2000.