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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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Notes to editors

[1] Online survey conducted by Opinium on behalf of Age UK between 14th and 18th January 2022. Sample of 1,280 UK residents (65++), weighted to be nationally representative of the 65+ age group.

[1] Online survey conducted by Opinium on behalf of Age UK between 3rd and 8th December 2021. Sample of 2,000 UK adults (18+), weighted to be nationally representative of the 65+ age group.

[1] Online survey conducted by Opinium on behalf of Age UK between 14th and 18th January 2022. Sample of 1,280 UK residents (65++), weighted to be nationally representative of the 65+ age group.

[1] 82 per cent of the 12,508,638 older people in the UK = 10,257,083 people

[1] https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/96920/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=Website

[1] As reported in the Financial Times, Monday 17th January 2022: https://www.ft.com/content/d246f8b4-80ef-498f-b9f1-7779acc5efd7

[1] On Monday 10th January 2022, the Charity wrote to the Secretaries of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP) and for Work and Pensions (Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP), calling for immediate action to protect vulnerable older people from the cold this winter. This was the second letter from the Charity in as many months urging Ministers to take decisive action on energy bills to mitigate the potentially devastating impact of the escalating crisis, which will be nothing short of catastrophic for many older people without intervention. In addition, the letter underlined the need for longer-term thinking about how older people with the least ability to pay can be protected from energy price rises in the future. The letter was sent by email.

[1] DWP, 2020. Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up: financial year 2018 to 2019 (Table PC1). Department for Work and Pensions. [Online]. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/929669/pension-credit-tables-2018-2019.ods. Accessed 19/01/2022 

For more information

Contact the Age UK Media team on 020 3033 1430 (out of hours: 07071 243 243).

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Last updated: Jan 21 2022

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