BBC axes free licences for over-75s

Piers claimed the broadcasting company is

Only 1.5 million households would be entitled to avoid paying for the £154.50 licence.

Here are some questions answered.

The BBC posted a tweet which explained: "From June 2020 any household with someone aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence funded by the BBC".

The government will "seek some clarification" over the BBC's decision to scrap free TV licences for over-75s, the Manx treasury minister has said.

The free licence fee was first paid for by a Labour government in 2000.

Strictly Come Dancing's former head judge said he was not blaming the BBC and that the Government should never have handed over responsibility to the broadcaster.

- Who has opposed the change?

"I contributed to the BBC's consultation and spoke in a recent Parliamentary debate about this to raise the concerns of my constituents and urged the Government to take the responsibility of funding the TV licence for over-75s back from the BBC".

Audrey Brand: "Yes it should be free, it's the only entertainment some pensioners have".

Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock, who are running for the leadership as well, also criticised the move.

"What is so interesting is they seem to be having a go at old, older people and I think that is wrong".

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- Who has defended the BBC?

The corporation has said free licences will be means-tested under a new scheme that intends to protect programming while dealing with the extra funding burden.

She said: "It is time this Tory government finally made the welfare of our older population a priority, instead of making things even worse by taking away key benefits, presiding over the lowest state pension of any developed country and denying women born in the 1950s pension justice".

Three major petitions have been launched opposing the move.

The BBC presenter said he is "ashamed" at how older people are being treated and he is supporting the charity Age UK's SwitchedOff campaign to save free TV licences for those over 75.

But what do you think - should older people receive free TV licences? .

"Helen Thomas, Director BBC England and the Crown Dependencies, has written to the Chief Minister this week and will look forward to discussing considerations with the Isle of Man Government as soon as possible". "I do understand that the BBC are between a rock and a hard place".

The BBC said if it had to fund licences for all over-75s, it would have meant unprecedented closures, including the end of BBC Two, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel, the BBC Scotland channel, Radio 5 Live, and a number of local radio stations, as well as other cuts and reductions.

Free TV licence will no longer be available for all British residents over the age of 75.

"The Tories simply can not be trusted on delivering for Scotland's older people".

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