Government funding for free TV licences for over-75s is due to end in 2020, and the BBC consultation on whether to start charging a fee ends today.
Age UK research has shown that ending the free TV licence could push 50,000 pensioners into relative poverty, and force them to cut back on essentials such as heating and food.
This is completely unacceptable, and is just another example of this Government’s cuts falling on the poorest in our society.
Meanwhile, the BBC has stated that it would cost £745m to replace the Government funding and continue to provide free licences, but that would represent around a fifth of the BBC budget, and would lead to significant cut backs in BBC services.
The BBC is one of our most treasured institutions, and I firmly believe its investment and scope must be maintained.
That’s why I’m pressing the Government to protect our pensioners, protect the BBC, and save free TV licences.