Advanced Television

Charity warns over-75s TV licence plan will be a “car crash”

July 26, 2019

More than a million pensioners will struggle to pay their TV licence once the concession is scrapped next year, the Age UK charity has warned.

The BBC will no longer be funding the TV licence for people aged over-75 from next June. However, those claiming pension credit will still be able to claim a free TV licence.

Age UK says that many pensioners, including those who have difficulty, dressing, bathing and getting out of bed will have difficulty paying the licence or proving that they are eligible for one.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, describes the means-testing plan as a “slow motion car crash”.

She said: “The idea that more than a million over-75s who are coping with serious health and care challenges will be able to comply with a new TV licence process, having never done so before, is cloud cuckoo land.”

“However straightforward the process it will still defeat many of them, unless they have friends and family who can help, and unfortunately a lot don’t […] The BBC’s setting up of ‘visiting teams’ may be designed to be helpful but that’s not how most older people we have talked to have reacted to the idea,” she added.

Age UK is calling on new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reverse the 2017 manifesto pledge to protect free TV licences for the over-75s until 2022.

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