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Age UK Birmingham responds to BBC

BBC at the Mailbox, Birmingham

Published on 12 June 2019 02:33 PM

Age UK Birmingham responds to the BBC’s announcement that TV licences for the over-75s will be means-tested from June 2020

Alison Beachim, Age UK Birmingham’s Chief Executive said:  “ If this scheme goes ahead we  will  see people who are ill, housebound and disabled in their eighties and nineties and who are totally dependant on their TV for company and news,  forced to give it up.”

“Means-testing may sound like a sensible solution and fair, but here at Age UK Birmingham we know the realities of the struggle to access Pension Credit . What this will really mean is at least 650,000 of our poorest pensioners, across the country, facing a new bill which they simply cannot afford. They maybe eligible for Pension Credit but they don’t get it. “ 

“The BBC’s decision will cause those affected enormous anxiety and distress, and some anger too.  Have the BBC considered what they will do if Pensioners can not afford to make this payment, the result of which could see some of our most vulnerable older people in court?  Here at Age UK Birmingham we recognise it the Government’s fault, not the BBC’s. It is open to a new Prime Minister to intervene and save the day for some of the most vulnerable older people in our society who will otherwise suffer a big blow to their pockets and to their quality of life.

“The decent thing for the Government to do is to continue to fund the entitlement until the BBC’s overall funding deal comes up for negotiation in 2022. This would be warmly welcomed by our older population as a much fairer way to proceed.”

 If you are worried how you will meet this bill , or you would like to claim Pension Credit, please contact our Information and Advice Team who will be able to advice you on your entitlements , as well as complete the application to help you claim

Any older person who is worried about money and/ or losing their free TV licence can call Age UK Birmingham Advice line 0121 437 0479, or visit www.ageukbirmingham.org.uk for more information. A guide on Pension Credit can be found on the web at: tinyurl.com/AgeUKPensionCredit