Last year, I stood on a manifesto that made clear that the BBC should do the right thing and fund TV licences for over 75s. As such the BBC’s decision to stop funding free TV licences for most over 75s is very disappointing. Only those who receive the Pension Credit benefit will be eligible for a free licence.
In light of the announcement, I submitted a public Written Question to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the BBC on the decision to remove the free TV license for over 75s.
This was the response from his department:
The government meets with the BBC on regular occasions to discuss a wide range of issues,
including the over 75 concession. The Government has consistently made clear its disappointment with the BBC’s decision to restrict the over 75 licence fee concession to only those in receipt of pension credit. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe they should be funded by the BBC.
The BBC remains responsible for the administration of the concession and it will be responsible for setting out what those affected will need to do. It must look urgently at how it can use its substantial licence fee income to support older people and deliver for UK audiences of all ages.
I will continue to monitor the situation closely and encourage the Government to take action on this issue.