Free TV Licences for Over-75s

Angus MP Kirstene Hair has condemned a BBC decision to scrap free TV licences for most over-75s.

It was announced this week that only those who claim Pension Credit will continue to benefit from the entitlement.

That means that about 3.7million pensioners will lose out when the changes come into force in June next year.

The decision comes four years after the UK Government announced that the BBC would take over the responsibility for providing free licences by 2020 as part of its licence renewal.

At the same time, the corporation was permitted to increase the cost of a licence and charge those who watch programmes using the BBC i-Player online. 

Scottish Conservative MP Ms Hair said she was “very disappointed” with the decision.

She said: “The BBC receives a considerable amount of money from licence fees, and it must use that income wisely.

“The decision to exclude the vast majority of over-75s from the free TV licence policy will have a huge impact on many pensioners in Angus.

“People may not yet be aware, but next year they will have to pay more than £150 for the year.

“Many pensioners may not be able to afford that. 

“At the moment, we have a situation where the BBC has a staff bill in the region of £150m – with huge pay packages for senior staff.

“It is very disappointing that the BBC has chosen to end free licences for so many people.

“I think looking after some of the most vulnerable in our society should be a priority.”