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TV Licences

Published on 15 January 2019 12:44 PM

Your voice matters in the fight to keep TV free

For over a million of the oldest people in our society, TV is their main form of company. It’s their window on the world, and a human voice when they’ve not spoken to another person in days.

TV is a lifeline. And right now, it’s under threat.

In 2015, the Government quietly pushed the job of providing free TV licences to the BBC –  without giving them the funding to do the job properly, or asking us, the public, whether this was right.

Now the BBC is considering 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.

Who loses out if free TV licences are scrapped?

It’s a common misconception that all older people are comfortably off these days. In fact nearly a fifth of over 75s are living in poverty. For them, paying a hefty extra bill would simply be impossible when they’re barely scraping by as it is.

Added to this, half of over 75s are living with a disability. Many of them rely on their TV for companionship and entertainment. And for those who don’t have the internet – a considerable proportion of the oldest in our society – TV enables them stay up to date with what’s happening in the world.

Removing access to free TV for the over 75s would be a cruel blow to those who need it most, when they’re already facing such huge challenges.

Make sure the BBC hears your views

We’re urging older people and their friends, families and grandchildren to share their concerns on how removing free TV licences would affect their lives.

The BBC’s consultation on the future of free TV licences for older people is due to end on 12 February 2019, so it’s vital we act now. 

You can have your say at www.ageuk.org.uk/tvletter.

Together, we must make sure the BBC understands why it’s so important to keep TV free for the oldest people in our society. Because it’s not just a licence. It’s a lifeline.