MP condemns “deeply disappointing” decision to scrap free TV licences for over 75s

Glasgow North West’s MP has branded the scrapping of free TV licenses for over 75s “deeply disappointing.”

In an announcement, the BBC confirmed that, from June 2020, a free TV Licence will only be available to households with one person who receives Pension Credit aged over 75.
Of the 4,130 households in Glasgow North West with someone aged 75 and over, 2,340 will cease to qualify once this eligibility criteria is factored in.

Commenting, Carol Monaghan MP said:

“Today’s announcement is deeply disappointing, with 2,340 households in Glasgow North West standing to detrimentally affected.

“I wrote to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about this in February, urging him to stick to his party’s manifesto commitment to maintain pensioner benefits, including the TV licence – today’s news represents another broken promise from the Tories.

“It is shocking that dozens of people, many of whom are women, are sent to prison every year for non-payment of their licence. With Age UK warning that this move could push thousands of over 75s into relative poverty, the potential prosecution and imprisonment of people in their 80s and 90s for not being able to afford a TV licence is absolutely unacceptable.

“No matter your views on the BBC, they should not be paying for a welfare policy – that is the responsibility of the UK Government, who have forced their hand following cuts to the BBC’s budget. The UK Government must act now to ensure the concessionary scheme remains fully funded.”