Free TV Licences

Stephen Hepburn MP for the Jarrow Constituency has supported an Early Day Motion in Parliament which calls on the Government to maintain free TV licences for over 75-year-olds.

The Jarrow Constituency MP, who has already raised in Parliament his concerns that thousands of pensioners in the area face losing their free TV licence, voiced his disgust that the current scheme will end.   

From 1st June 2020, a free TV licence will only be available to a household with someone aged over 75 who receives pension credit.

According to figures from the House of Commons Library, almost 6,000 older households in the Jarrow Constituency face losing their free TV licences in 2020 despite the Conservatives promising in their 2017 general election manifesto to protect free TV licences until 2022.

As part of the last BBC charter the Government devolved responsibility for the free TV licence policy, and the cost, to the BBC. The BBC can decide what to do with the benefit from 2020 and they have consulted on a number of options including scrapping the free TV licence concession altogether, raising the eligible age to 80 and means testing it.   

The Motion, already supported by 138 MPs, states: 

“That this House notes that maintaining free TV licences for over-75s was a 2017 Conservative manifesto commitment; acknowledges that 2.2 million over-75s live alone and that paying the licence fee could push 50,000 pensioners below the poverty line; acknowledges that 4 million households will be affected if the concession is ended, that 3 million will be impacted if the concession is linked to Pension Credit, and that 1.5 million households would lose out if the qualifying age was raised to 80; welcomes the petition by Age UK on this issue; and calls on the Government to guarantee the maintenance of free TV licences for over-75s beyond 2020.”


Stephen Hepburn MP added:


''It's outrageous that the Tory Government are breaking a manifesto commitment by scrapping the free licence fee for over 75s.


“This is a betrayal for millions of older people, and by limiting it to people who receive pension credits, the Government have taken the free TV licence away from over 6,000 people in my constituency.


“This is yet another ruthless welfare cut, which will hit vulnerable people in society, whilst Boris Johnson is ploughing ahead with tax cuts for the richest in society.


“The Government need to reverse this decision immediately, and stand up for the millions of older people who will be hit by this cut.”

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