Pressure on the BBC for over-75s licences
There has been much debate on the subject of TV licences for the over-75s.
I have written, along with more than 60 fellow Conservative MPs, to warn the BBC's Director General that the corporation's plans to end free television licences for most over-75s demonstrates how detached it has become from its viewers. To read a recent article in The Telegraph about this CLICK HERE and to read the letter I have co-signed CLICK HERE or see the excerpt below:
We are writing to express our disappointment at the BBC’s decision to scrap free TV licences for most people over the age of 75 from the 1st August 2020 and urge you to reconsider this decision. When millions of elderly Britons have been asked to stay at home during the global COVID-19 crisis, the timing of this announcement could not have been worse. Frankly, it is a kick in the teeth for millions of over-75s who have had a torrid time in lockdown.
We welcome the BBC’s commitment to protecting the people who would find it most difficult to pay by continuing to cover the licences of those eligible for Pension Credit. However, this is not good enough and the cost of this proposed scheme is considerably less than you have been contributing already to free TV licences for the over 75s. The BBC’s annual income is £5 billion. Why, then, is this announcement necessary?
We question the need for the BBC to allocate the enormous sum of £100 million on diversity, which with strong management could be achieved for minimal cost. Reducing the excessive salaries of your highest-paid stars and executives would also provide ample financial respite. The fact that you have prioritised pensioners to take the brunt of your cost-savings shows how detached you have become from your viewers.
Now is not the time to scrap free TV licences for over-75s. Please do reconsider. We would welcome the chance to discuss this with you in person.