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Labour vows to save free TV licences for over-75s

Labour vows to save free TV licences for over-75s

Labour has vowed to save free television licences for the over-75s if it wins the general election. Deputy leader Tom Watson pledged to prevent the controversial cut if the party comes to power on 13 December. “The Tory decision to scrap free TV licences for over-75s is utterly callous,” he said. “Four in 10 older people say the

Labour has vowed to save free television licences for the over-75s if it wins the general election.

Deputy leader Tom Watson pledged to prevent the controversial cut if the party comes to power on 13 December.

“The Tory decision to scrap free TV licences for over-75s is utterly callous,” he said. “Four in 10 older people say the TV is their main source of company, but from next year 3.7 million older people will lose their free TV licence.


“It’s disgraceful. Our message is clear – vote Labour to save free TV licences.”

Both the BBC and the government have come under fierce criticism over the move to end free licences to all people aged over 75.

The corporation agreed to take over responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement reached with the Conservatives in 2015.

However, the broadcaster later revealed it could not afford to continue the concession beyond June 2020 and held public consultations about introducing means-testing.

From next year only people over the age of 75 who receive pension credit will be eligible.

The charity Age UK has warned that the cut could push more than 50,000 UK pensioners below the poverty line.

Last month the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee called for free licences to be restored.

Chair Damian Collins said: “The BBC agreed to fund a pensioner benefit that it couldn’t afford and, as a result, false reassurances were given to the over-75s that their free licence fees would be maintained.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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