Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, has reignited the row over who should fund free TV licences for the over-75s, urging the BBC to “cough up”.
The PM has signalled that his government will not reverse policy by stepping in to subsidise the benefit, despite the Conservatives’ promise in the 2017 manifesto that it would indeed be protected.
“The BBC received a settlement that was conditional upon their paying for TV licences for the over-75s. They should cough up,” said Johnson whilst attending the G7 summit in Biarritz.
In fact, as part of the settlement Parliament handed the BBC the decision over the future of the previously government backed scheme. It decided that to keep funding the 3.75+ million licences would mean the closure of several services.