1,128 people in Orkney will be hit by the Tory Government’s decision to scrap the free TV licence for over-75s, new figures have revealed according to local MSP Maree Todd, SNP.
It is estimated that 60% of over-75s people in Orkney will be forced to pay an extra £154.50 in household bills when the free TV licence policy for over-75s is axed.
Maree Todd said:
“A decade of damaging Tory government cuts has left older people in Scotland worse off – and it’s concerning to see that the decision to axe the free TV licence will hit 1,128 over-75s in Orkney.
“This is yet another broken Tory manifesto commitment which will take money out of the pockets of older people.
“It is time this Tory government finally made the welfare of our older population a priority – instead of making things even worse by taking away key benefits.
“The Tories should urgently stop this swindle and ensure that the TV license for over-75s is be properly funded and protected.”
Concerns were also raised early on in the year by local MSP Rhoda Grant, Labour, who was urging people to take part in the consultation about it. At the time she 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? Rhoda Grant MSP Condemns Proposal to do Away with Free TV Licence for Over 75s
Information from TV Licensing
Free TV Licences, funded by the Government, for all over 75s will come to an end in June 2020. This means that all over 75 licence holders under the current scheme will be issued a free over 75 licence for less than 12 months.
From 1 June 2020, there will be a new scheme. Under the new scheme, anyone aged 75 or over who receives Pension Credit will still be eligible for a free TV Licence which the BBC will pay for. Households where there is no one aged 75 or over that receives Pension Credit will need to buy a licence if one is needed.
If you already have a free over 75 licence you will be covered until 31 May 2020. You don’t need to do anything now.
All free over 75 licence holders will be written to by TV Licensing before 31st of May 2020 to let them know how they may be affected and what they will need to do.