Decision to axe free TV licences for over 75’s is a disgrace


Categories: News

BBC put 77% of Argyll & Bute pensioners under added financial pressure

It is disgraceful that the BBC has decided to end free TV licences for most over-75’s on August 1. The UK Government is responsible for the licence fee and this really is the most mean spirited of cuts.

It is incredible that the BBC has chosen to do this at such a critical time – when we could potentially see further lockdown measures if there is a spike in coronavirus cases – it is grossly irresponsible for the UK government to simply sit on their hands.

So many older people, including thousands who have been shielding because of coronavirus and lockdown measures, have been relying on this service as their window on the world and and an important source of information on the pandemic.

This is a link to the speech I have in a Westminster Hall debate last July when plans came to light.

Argyll & Bute has 6890 households where one person is aged 75 or more and this decision will affect around 77 per cent of those aged 75 and over in this constituency once eligibility for pension credit is assessed.

Overall, 260,000 people in Scotland will increase living costs at a time when people are already being pushed into hardship and financial difficulties.

The Tories have repeatedly pledged to stand by pensioners and older people – including previous election manifesto pledges to maintain free TV licences for older people – it is now time to come good on their word.

The SNP will continue to press the UK government to take responsibility and meet the costs for TV licence fees for over 75’s and ensure that free licences continue to be available.