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BBC to introduce means-tested license fee for over-75s

14 June 2019

However, Tory peer Ros Altman - a former pensions minister - said the BBC should not have to "carry the can" for the £745 million cost of the licences.

He added: "I think we all have a right to express our view on this decision".

Under the new rules, over-75s who already receive the means-tested Pension Credit benefit will continue to benefit from the free license, which costs £154.50, and it's estimated that 1.5m households are still eligible. "Those were the words of the director-general of the BBC after the deal in 2015. I do understand that the BBC are between a rock and a hard place". "I've met lots of older people during my time visiting, for Age UK, and I do know that a lot of people's lifeline is watching the telly".

Mr Bradley said: "The BBC agreed to continue the scheme of free TV licenses for over 75s throughout the course of this Parliament, in return for being able to raise the license fee".

He added: "Everyone likes to bash the BBC but they do a wonderful job".

Why has the Government passed on what is essentially a welfare benefit to a media broadcaster?

The corporation has said free licences will be means-tested under a new scheme that intends to protect programming while dealing with the extra funding burden.

Conservative Party leadership hopefuls Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey opposed the move, with the latter saying she felt "ashamed" of the BBC.

"It's those who are struggling to get by and can't even afford the basics that I'm anxious about".

Ms Sales replied: "I think so, they need to definitely do that". They should be held accountable for this poor decision and made to reverse it.

"The Tories in the United Kingdom government should divert their attentions from their current leadership pageant and U-turn on their broken manifesto promise and fully fund the TV licence for our older people".

The TV presenter and adventurer's pledge came as an Age UK petition calling for free television for the elderly to be protected hit more than 350,000 signatures.

Mrs Thompson, who has been manager of the day centre for 10 years, said the additional outgoing may force some older people to cut back on necessities, and said the government should step in and keep funding the concession for all over-75s.

In a joint statement released on Monday, the BBC's chairman, Sir David Clementi, and Director General Tony Hall said continuing the Government's scheme would have had a "severe impact" on services and that the new model "represents the fairest possible outcome".

From June 2020, around 3.7 million households which previously received a free licence will have to pay for one. Now, millions of pensioners could be arrested for failing to pay fines.

BBC to introduce means-tested license fee for over-75s