This timely council motion calls on local MPs to lobby the government to rethink how the BBC is funded and acknowledge, and reverse, the impact lower funding will have on elderly people.
Motion calling on the government to fund free TV licences for all over 75s
This council notes that the government has withdrawn funding from the BBC which has hitherto covered the cost of free TV licences for all pensioners over the age of 75. The government shifted the responsibility for deciding whether the free TV licence should continue to be available to all pensioners and, if so, how it would be funded to the BBC in 2015. The BBC have announced that after the end of June next year the free TV licence will only be available to households where there is a pensioner over the age of 75 who is in receipt of pension credits.
This council also notes the recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report that says one in six pensioners are living in poverty and pensioner poverty is rising. Furthermore, in the most recent government statistics for take up of pension credits (2016 -2017) only six out of 10 pensioners who were entitled to the benefit claimed it and only 64 per cent of the total amount of pension credit that could have been claimed was claimed.
This council believes it is clear that the cost of a TV licence at £154.50 will be prohibitive for many and as a result many pensioners will be without the benefit of TV.
This council calls upon the government to reinstate the funding to the BBC to enable the retention of the free colour TV licence for all over 75s.
This council resolves to instruct the chief executive to write to the borough’s three MPs calling on them to demand that the government reinstate the funding to the BBC to allow free TV licences for all over 75s.