5,360 households in Rossendale and Darwen are at risk of losing their free TV licences. Millions of older people across the country could lose their TV licence in 2020 despite the Conservatives promising in their 2017 general election manifesto to protect free TV licences until 2022.
Figures produced for the Labour Party by the House of Commons Library show that under each of the changes proposed by the BBC in their consultation, millions of pensioners will lose their free licences.
Free TV licences are an important benefit for older people who suffer disproportionately from loneliness and social isolation. The Campaign to End Loneliness found that 40% of older people say their television is their main source of company.
The prospect of elderly people losing their free TV licences makes a mockery of Theresa May’s claim that austerity is over. The Government should take responsibility and save TV licences for the elderly.
If you’re an older person who’s housebound or isolated, if you don’t have much cash to rely on every month, then TV is often a vital way to stay in touch. Theresa May’s manifesto promised that TV licences for over 75s would be protected. If the Government had any compassion for these older people they would step in and save their free TV licences.