MP slams UK Government’s TV licence cut for pensioners

Susan Elan Jones MP has slammed the UK Government for failing to protect free TV licenses for the over 75s.

 Following the decision by the Government to cut funding for the concession, the BBC has announced that it will scrap free TV licences for up to 3.7m pensioners.

 The Labour Government introduced free licences to the over-75s as part of their programme to reduce pensioner poverty in 2000. During the 2017 snap general election, the Conservative Party pledged to protect the scheme in their manifesto.  

 The Clwyd South MP said: “This is yet another ruthless welfare cut for the most vulnerable in our society. Thousands of elderly and isolated people in Clwyd South will directly lose out as of next year and I think that it’s appalling that this Tory Government is trying to offload responsibility for funding free TV licences onto the BBC. The Government told the BBC it was no longer funding free TV licences for over 75s. This cost £700million, nearly a fifth of the BBC’s budget.

 “The BBC was given the power to end free licences and was, I believe, put in a financial position where it was forced to do so. The blame for this appalling situation lies totally in the hands of the UK Conservative Government. Even more shameful is the fact that while this is going on, the leading candidate to be the next Tory Prime Minister is planning massive tax cuts for people on very high incomes. The whole situation is a disgrace.”