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Age UK responds to TV Licence fee increase from £154.50 to £157.50 from 1st April 2020

Published on 03 February 2020 04:00 PM

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “A £3 a year increase to the TV licence fee may not sound much but will be yet another blow to the hundreds of thousands of over-75s who will struggle to afford a TV licence from June.

“The clock is ticking, and with only a few months to go, the BBC and the Government must urgently sit down and broker a solution to the TV licence debacle. Many of the over-75s who will lose their free licence are housebound due to ill health and disabilities and are almost completely reliant on their TV for entertainment, companionship and as a way to stay connected with the rapidly changing world.

“Although the poorest older people, those eligible for Pension Credit, would supposedly continue to be entitled to a free TV Licence under the BBC’s proposed scheme, we know that some two in five of all those eligible don’t claim, in which case they and others whose incomes are only just above the line are set to face horrible decisions over whether they can afford to continue to watch TV at all.

“We urge the Government to do the right thing and take back responsibility for this important welfare benefit.”

 

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Last updated: May 26 2022

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Notes to editors:

A copy of Age UK's 'It Doesn't Add Up' campaign report can be found here

[i] Age UK. February 2022. Research briefing: Estimating the impact of the April 2022 energy price cap rise on older households in England. Age UK [Online]. Available at: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/safe-at-home/estimating-the-impact-of-the-april-2022-energy-price-cap-rise-on-older-households-in-england.pdf.

[ii] Age UK. May 2022. Research Briefing: Estimating the impact of rising prices on older households in the UK in 2022-23. Age UK [Online]. Available at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/safe-at-home/estimating-the-impact-of-rising-prices-on-older-households-in-the-uk-in-2022-23-may-2022.pdf.

[iii] Older households are defined as households with at least one person aged 60 or over.

[iv] ‘Over the next year’ refers to 2022/23.

[v] The snapshot survey was carried out online.

[vi] Those in receipt of Pension Credit, which can be backdated for three months and tops up the weekly income of a single pensioner to £182.60 or a pensioner couple to £278.70, (or higher in some circumstances) could also be entitled to the following:

  • A Cold Weather Payment of £25, paid automatically when the average temperature is 0°C or below over seven consecutive days
  • £140 off electricity bill thorough the Warm Home Discount Scheme, if eligible
  • A free TV licence (if also over-75)
  • Free NHS dental treatment and help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital
  • Help with Council Tax
  • Help with rent
  • Cheaper phone and home broadband deals
  • Reduced water bills
  • An extra amount of Pension Credit for some carers worth up to £38.85 a week.

For more information

Contact the Age UK Media team on 020 3033 1430 during office hours (Mon-Fri 08:30-17:30) or for out-of-hours media support please email media@ageuk.org.uk 

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