Scrapping free TV licence for over-75s could push elderly into poverty, charity warns

The BBC’s plan to abolish the free TV licence for over-75s may push greater than 50,000 UK pensioners under the poverty line, a charity has warned.

At the moment, households with individuals over 75 are entitled to a free TV licence. Nevertheless, the BBC is seeking to reform the subsidy after projections confirmed the free licence scheme may price the company £745m by 2022.

In November the company introduced it could not present the funding to maintain the scheme and could be holding public consultations about introducing “means-based testing” for the aged as a substitute.

Age UK now needs the federal government to take again duty for funding free TV licences, saying the scheme helps hundreds of thousands maintain their high quality of life into late outdated age.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, stated: “Scrapping the free TV licence could be an actual blow for a lot of older individuals who have already got many different challenges to cope with.

“Hundreds of thousands of older individuals, notably those that are lonely or housebound with disabilities, depend on their TV as their trusted companion and window on the world, and it could be merciless certainly to undermine this in any method.”

She continued: “Sadly the specter of pensioner poverty has not been vanquished on this nation.

“Actually, official statistics make it clear that, after large advances in the beginning of this century, progress has extra lately juddered to a halt and gone into reverse.

“We’re deeply involved that scrapping free TV licences will merely speed up this pattern, pushing as much as 50,000 extra pensioners the fallacious facet of the poverty line.”

The BBC has beforehand launched a session interval to resolve how licence charges for over-75s must be paid for, with varied potential choices urged.

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A BBC spokesperson stated: “It is a actually vital difficulty. We’re acutely aware that pensioner poverty continues to be a problem for some older individuals.

“We’ve set out a spread of choices in our session – every has deserves and penalties, with implications for the way forward for the BBC and for everybody, together with older individuals.”

He added that the broadcaster wanted to listen to everybody’s views to make “the perfect and fairest resolution”.

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