Somerset Pensioners slam TV payments

In just over a fortnight until many British pensioners will lose their free TV license. From 1st August a free TV license will only be offered to those pensioners claiming pension credits. In other words the benefit will effectively become means tested.

It has to be said that the free TV license for the over 75s is not a long standing benefit. It was introduced by the Balir Government in 2000.

However this year the cost of that benefit is likely to be in the order of £745 million. Originally this cost was carried by Government but as part of the last charter renewal negotiation, the Government passed on responsibility for the cost of the free licenses to the BBC.

This weekend the National Pensioners Convention for Somerset, Gloucester and Avon issued a statement that lays the blame squarely at the door of the government, despite “knowing that many of our oldest and most vulnerable people will struggle to find the money to keep their TVs switched on.”

There was particular disappointment that this decision would be implemented when many over 75s are still self isolating as a result of the pandemic. The NPS say “The Chancellor is busy handing out money to save businesses, but this government clearly has no concept of how most of our elderly live and how even those whose income goes just beyond the Pension Credit level, still struggle daily to make ends meet.”

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