Local MSP Rhoda Grant , Labour is concerned about the UK Government’s plan to cut free TV Licences for the over 75’s .
The BBC’s consultation on cutting the age related free licence is due to end on the 12th of February. You can find all the information on that and how to submit your views here: Have Your Say
The concession will come to an end next year in 2020.
Rhoda Grant said:
“ The UK Government currently fund free TV Licenses for over-75s, a scheme introduced by the last Labour Government. The Conservative Government has decided to stop funding this scheme at the end of 2020.
“The BBC must now decide whether or not they continue the scheme from their own budgets. The cost of providing free licences to the over 75’s will cost in excess of £700million. A report commissioned by the BBC estimates that residual costs to shut down the concession would be £72m – or 10% of the cost of continuing with it.
The proposals are:
- Scrap free licence fees for over-75s.
- Replace with a 50% concession for all over-75 households.
- Increase the age threshold for eligibility – Raise threshold to 80
- Link free TV licences to over-75s who get pension credit
Rhoda Grant said:
“I believe that the UK Government should continue funding this scheme, rather than passing the buck to the BBC.
“ At the end of the day TV plays a very important part in the lives of the elderly who rely on it to keep up to date with local and world events, plus having the TV available helps with loneliness and isolation when people are house bound. We all enjoy watching our favourite programmes. The over 75’s are a group of people who have paid their taxes all their lives and contributed well to society. Is it too much to ask that they get free TV licenses?
“I have written to the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport asking them to seriously review this decision.”