A FREE TV Licence will only be available to households with someone aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit from June 2020, the BBC has announced.

The BBC posted a tweet which explained: "From June 2020 any household with someone aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence funded by the BBC.

"This means: Those least able to pay will still get a free licence

"Viewers & listeners will still receive the best programmes and services that the BBC can provide."

The corporation's Director-General, Tony Hall, said: "This has not been an easy decision. Whilst we know that pensioner incomes have improved since 2000, we also know that for some the TV Licence is a lot of money. I believe we have reached the fairest judgment after weighing up all the different arguments.

"It would not be right simply to abolish all free licences. Equally it would not be right to maintain it in perpetuity given the very profound impact that would have on many BBC services.

"This decision is fairest for the poorest pensioners. Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit. It protects those most in need. And importantly, it is not the BBC making that judgment about poverty. It is the Government who sets and controls that measure.

"It is fairest for all audiences - of all generations, old and young - who we know value the BBC and the programmes and services we provide. It means these services can continue.

"We also need to look at how the level of the licence fee is set in the future. The last two settlements have been made in the dark and without proper consultation. It is vital that future decisions are evidence-based and made after proper consultation and scrutiny. We need to find a better way."

Sir David Clementi, BBC chairman, said: "Linking a free licence for over 75s to Pension Credit was the leading reform option.

"It protects the poorest over 75s, while protecting the services that they, and the audiences, love.

"It is the fairest and best outcome."

Around 1.5 million households could be eligible for a free licence under the new scheme.

It is thought more than three million pensioners will now have to pay the fee.

Tom Watson, shadow culture secretary and deputy Labour leader, said: "It is an outrage that this Government is overseeing the scrapping of free TV licences for three million older people, leaving a Tory manifesto promise in tatters.

"In the same week that Boris Johnson has championed tax cuts for the richest 8%, his Government has delivered yet another ruthless welfare cut to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

"I challenge all Tory leadership candidates to honour the commitment they made in 2017. You cannot means test for social isolation. You cannot means test for loneliness.

"Millions of elderly and isolated people will lose because of this announcement - Labour will fight it with everything we've got."

Conservative MP Peter Heaton-Jones tweeted: "I love the BBC. But this is a disgraceful decision. It receives £4billion of OUR money every year yet fails to live within its means.

"It is a largely unaccountable organisation with an arrogant streak. And to announce the decision today, when everyone's distracted, is cowardly."