§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey)
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
On 11 November last year (Official Report, col. 11WS), the Government announced that, from 1 April 2004, the fee for a colour television licence would rise to £121 and the black and white licence fee to £40.50. I will today lay before the House the regulations necessary to bring these new fees into force.
The new regulations also:
Incorporate the 50 per cent licence fee concession for blind persons originally introduced by the Secretary of State's determination under Section 2(2) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, dated 31 March 2000.
Incorporate provision for free television licences for persons aged 75 and over originally introduced by the Secretary of State's direction to the BBC under Section 1(2) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, dated 30 October 2000.
Define "television receiver" for the purposes of the requirement to have a TV licence under Part 4 of the Communications Act 2003.
Define "television dealer" and "television set" for the purposes of Part 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967 (which imposes on television dealers an obligation to notify the BBC, as the authority responsible for TV licensing, of the sale or hire of a television set).
Amend the definition of "accommodation for residential care" for England, Wales and Scotland to reflect changes in the care homes legislation; clarify the definition of certain expressions relating to this concession and provide that a group of dwellings may be within the definition of "a group of specially provided dwellings" even if one of the dwellings is occupied by a caretaker.
Clarify the operation of the easy payment schemes.
Amend the definition of "hotel", for the purposes of television licence fees for hotels, to impose a maximum stay for guests of 28 days in any consecutive period.