In Questions to The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright MP, I again raised the UK Government’s decision to break a manifesto pledge, by passing on responsibility for free TV licenses for the over-75s to the BBC. I pointed out that research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that one in six pensioners in the UK are now living in poverty, and therefore an extra £150.50 added to their bills is the last thing they need.
This benefit is key in tackling poverty and isolation amongst elderly people, and therefore the Secretary of State’s response was extremely disappointing, stating that we should wait to hear the BBC’s proposals before commenting. It is unacceptable that pensioners should have to wait for the decision of the BBC when the Tory manifesto guaranteed the protection of pensioners’ benefits. Welfare policy is not and should not be the responsibility of a broadcaster, and thousands of pensioners will be at risk of losing vital support. Once again the Tories have let pensioners down.
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