I asked the Leader of the House about the UK Government’s plans to break yet another of its manifesto promises, in withdrawing their support for free TV licenses for the over-75s, and passing on the responsibility for this benefit to the BBC.
All households with someone aged over 75 are currently entitled to receive free TV licences, funded by the UK Government to help tackle pensioner poverty and isolation. The Tories will withdraw this funding completely from next year, insisting the concession is a matter purely for the BBC.
In my constituency of North Ayrshire and Arran, more than 9,000 of my constituents are over 75 and each would be detrimentally affected if the concessionary licence is scrapped, and Age UK has warned that scrapping the concession would push 50,000 over 75s into relative poverty
Benefits for our pensioners is not the responsibility of the BBC. It is the responsibility of the Government, a Government which pledged to maintain pensioner benefits. Withdrawing funding for these TV licences is yet another betrayal of our older people by this cruel government.