MP accuses Government of ‘picking pensioners’ pockets’ on TV licences

Sir Kevin Barron MP. Photo: Richard Maude.
Sir Kevin Barron MP. Photo: Richard Maude.

New research by the Labour Party shows that thousands of local pensioners could lose their free TV licences and pay a combined total of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year if Government plans go ahead, writes Sir Kevin Barron MP.

Millions of older people across the country could lose their TV licence in 2020 despite the Conservatives’ election promise to protect free TV licences until 2022.

In Rother Valley, 6,690 older households could face having to pay a licence fee, costing more than a million pounds annually.

As part of the last BBC Charter, the Government devolved responsibility for the free TV licence policy, and the cost, to the BBC.

By outsourcing responsibility for paying for free TV licences, this Government will be saving £745 million across the UK in 2021-22.

This is in addition to the £220 million the Government will be saving that same year through changes to pension credit.

This money is coming directly out of the pockets of pensioners.

The prospect of elderly people losing their free TV licences makes a mockery of Theresa May’s claim that austerity is over.

This is yet another Tory policy that punishes pensioners.

Through scrapping free TV licences and changing pension credit alone, this Government will offload almost a billion pounds of costs on to senior citizens in a single year.

This Tory Government is picking pensioners’ pockets.

Labour is calling on the Government to urgently reconsider this proposal.

The Government has broken its manifesto promise and now millions of elderly people are facing losing their free TV licences as a result.