It was announced yesterday that millions of older people across the country will lose their free TV licence in 2020 despite the Conservatives promising in their 2017 general election manifesto to protect free TV licences until 2022.
As part of the last BBC charter the Government devolved responsibility for the free TV licence policy, and the cost, to the BBC. The BBC have now decided to scrap blanket free TV licences for over 75s with means testing in place for households with one person in receipt of pension credit.
Figures produced for the Labour Party by the House of Commons Library show that alongside millions of pensioners across the country an estimated 4,030 local pensioners in Denton and Reddish will lose their free licences as a result of this decision.
Free TV licences are an important benefit for older people, who suffer disproportionately from loneliness and social isolation. The Campaign to End Loneliness found that 40% of older people say their television is their main source of company.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“This is a terrible blow to older people who already struggle to make ends meet and particularly to those who are housebound or isolated and rely on their TV for company.
“The Tory Government knew what it was doing when it forced the cost of paying for free licences for over 75s out to the BBC. They have broken their manifesto promise to protect free TV licences for the duration of this current Parliament and Labour will do everything it can to fight for the rights and benefits our pensioners deserve.”