Thank you for contacting me about the recent BBC decision to remove free TV Licences from some over 75s.
I am very disappointed with the decision made by the BBC. In an agreed funding settlement in 2015, it was decided that responsibility for this important benefit lay with the BBC. That settlement was a good deal for the BBC. Following the Licence Fee negotiations, the Director General of the BBC, Lord Hall, said the overall deal provided “financial stability” and said; “The Government’s decision here to put the cost of the over – 75’s on us has been more than matched by the deal coming back for the BBC.”
Whilst I am pleased that pensioners who receive pensions credit will continue to receive a free TV Licence, this decision should not have been made. The BBC currently receives more income through the Licence Fee than ever before. Instead of removing a popular and important facility for retired viewers, I would rather they looked again at ways to make better use of their substantial income and protect free access to TV for those who rely on it most.
I will be urging the BBC to reconsider this decision and reinstate free TV Licences for all over 75s. I have been contacted by a considerable number of local people who share this view and I am grateful that you have taken the time to let me know your concerns.