Martin McCluskey has launched a new petition calling on the UK Government and the BBC to retain free TV licencses for over 75s. You can sign the petition by clicking here.
Thousands of older people in Inverclyde could lose their free TV licence in 2020 despite the Conservatives promising in their 2017 general election manifesto to protect free TV licences until 2022.
Currently a free TV licence is available to all households that have at least one person aged over 75. Free TV licences for over 75s were introduced in 2000 by the Labour Government.
The 2017 Conservative Manifesto promised to “maintain all other pensioner benefits, including free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences, for the duration of this Parliament”.
However, the Government had already outsourced this social policy by shifting the cost of these licences to the BBC in its 2015 Royal Charter.
From 2018/19 onwards, responsibility for the policy and funding of licence fee concessions will move over to the BBC, who will be singularly responsible from June 2020.
In Inverclyde, 4,820 older households could face having to pay a licence fee. If the concession is means-tested, for example by linking to Pension Credit, 3,120 households will lose this crucial pensioner benefit.
If the age for the concession is raised to 80, 1,980 households will be hit with new expenses.
Sign our petition to say you oppose changes to the over-75s free TV licence and call on the Government to take back responsibility for this benefit.