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Help us save free TV for older people

Published on 05 July 2019 03:25 PM

The BBC is removing the right to free TV licences for the over 75s. If this is allowed to happen, it’s the most vulnerable people in our society who’ll suffer.

How will older people be affected?

From June 2020 only those who are claiming Pension Credit will be able to claim the concession.

Removing older people’s access to TV would be a cruel blow when many are already facing huge challenges.

  • Half of all over 75s are living with a disability, and many rely on their TV for companionship and entertainment.
  • For those who don’t have the internet, TV lets them stay up to date with what’s happening in the world.

Furthermore, with 29% of over 75s living in poverty or just above the poverty line, the Charity warns that if free TV licences are taken away, it is the most vulnerable who’ll suffer. Age UK Bolton has particular concerns for the 2329 people in Bolton who have dementia.

In 2015, the Government decided that the free TV concession should be paid for in future by the BBC, however the corporation have stated that continuing the free scheme would cost a fifth of their budget and significant cuts would need to be made if the BBC were to cover the full cost of the concession. 

The BBC’s decision to link the TV licence concession to Pension Credit is controversial because awareness and uptake of the benefit is limited. Nationally, 40% of those eligible for Pension Credit do not claim and if take up was the same in Bolton then 6308 older people would miss out.

What can we do to stop this?

Together with Age UK and organisations across the country, we are demanding the Government takes back responsibility for keeping TV free for the oldest people in our society.

Sign the petition at ageuk.org.uk/tvpetition

Age UK Bolton encourages anyone who think they may be eligible for Pension Credit to get in touch on 01204 382411 or email enquiries@ageukbolton.org.uk

Because it’s not just a licence. It’s a lifeline.