The Scottish National Party (SNP) will demand the licence fee is set independently of the UK government to stop a repeat of the “game-playing” around free licences for over 75s.
The Tories shamefully scrapped funding for older people’s TV licences, impacting up to 3.7 million over-75s across the UK and palmed the decision on who should have them paid over to the BBC.
SNP MPs demand that the UK Government fully fund licences for over 75s.
The pledges will form part of a package of support for pensioners in the SNP manifesto, including a commitment to oppose plans to raise the retirement age to 68.
Commenting, SNP candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran Patricia Gibson said:
“The Tories have taken older people for granted for too long, delivering the lowest pension relative to earnings across all 28 EU member states.
“The decision to scrap funding for free TV licences for over 75s shows that the Tories don’t care about older people.
“Foisting the payment of such licences on to the BBC has meant a 16% cut in the BBC Scotland’s entire budget, impacting on its ability to deliver quality programming.
“SNP MPs will fight to reverse that decision and restore the free TV licence for over 75s.
“More broadly, we need to stop future governments from similar game playing and have the licence fee set independently of government.
“That’s just one part of a wider package of support for older people SNP MPs will push for, including reversing cuts to Pension Credit and securing pension justice for women short-changed by increases in the pension age.
“A vote for the SNP on 12 December is a vote to deliver a fairer deal for our older people.”
SNP MPs will:
• Oppose current Tory plans to increase the State Pension Age to 68 by 2038 and ridiculous proposals to raise the State Pension Age to 75
• Fight to reverse the cut to Pension Credit that means older couples in Scotland could be £7,320 worse off per year
• Support the establishment of an Independent Savings and Pension Commission, to ensure pensions and savings policies are fit for purpose and reflect the demographic needs of different parts of the UK
• Continue standing up for the women in Scotland and across the UK, who have been short-changed by the Tory Government due to the accelerated timetable for increases in the women’s State Pension Age
• Back the urgent reversal of the decision to make pensioners pay and demand that the UK Government fully fund licences for over 75s