The government has announced an increase in the TV Licence price in line with inflation.

From April 1 2021 the annual price of a TV licence will be £159, an increase from the previous price of £157.50.

Meanwhile the cost of an annual black and white licence will rise from £53.00 to £53.50.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) laid a Statutory Instrument to Parliament, introducing the licence fee increase, the increase has been calculated by Government using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation, measured as the average rate of CPI over the last 12 months to September 2020.

The rise is price will mean the TV licence will now cost households 43p per day and will include all BBC TV and radio channels including BBC iPlayer; the audio app BBC Sounds; the BBC website, nine national TV channels plus regional programming; 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations as well as dedicated radio services.

Following the Government confirming the licence fee increase, people will receive a reminder or an updated payment plan reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal.

Those buying or renewing a licence after 1 April 2021 will pay the new fee. Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before 1 April 2021, such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £157.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.

Anyone buying a new licence before 1 April 2021 will also pay the current rate.

There are a number of ways to pay for your TV Licence including weekly cash payments and an annual direct debit.

The news comes as last week the BBC warned that it might need to make “difficult choices” that impact its programmes and services if the corporation is forced to tighten its belt further.

A report revealed that the broadcaster has seen a 30% real-term reduction in its income in the last decade.

At the same time, it has dealt with increased competition from new challengers to the old guard.

“The BBC has made big changes to ensure we provide outstanding value. We are smarter spenders and savers and more efficient than ever before, but there is more to do,” said director-general Tim Davie.

“The financial challenges and competition we face continue to evolve and while we have demonstrated we can deliver, I want us to adapt and reform further to safeguard the outstanding programmes and services that our audiences love for the future.”

From April 1 only those aged 75 or over receiving Pension Credit will be eligible to apply for a free TV licence.

A number of pensioners groups have condemned the BBC’s decision to remove free tv licences.

In a statement given on behalf of the BBC TV Licencing insisted the new policy is working.

They said: “Around 80% of over-75 households have transitioned to the new system, including those in receipt of Pension Credit eligible for a free licence funded by the BBC.

“We’re giving people time to get set up, the process is Covid-secure and we have measures to support people, including payment plans. We are not visiting households registered as having held a free over-75s licence.”