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Why not? In view of the reliefs which the Chancellor has given, and which he has stated go to 330,000 people, how does he expect these old-age pensioners to pay, if they are single, two weeks of their pension money for a television licence? How does he expect the million old-age pensioners who are on National Assistance to pay this additional tax, making £4 a year to meet the licence for their television sets? Has he no consideration at all for old-age pensioners?
No doubt the hon. Member will have an opportunity in later debates to develop that point, but if someone can pay 56 guineas for a television set, in general they will be able to pay the extra 4½ d. a week towards the licence.
Does the right hon. Gentleman not appreciate that in most cases old-age pensioners have the set given to them by generous relations but they have to meet the cost of the licence themselves?
There would be difficulty in singling out television sets which had been the subject of a gift. This is a matter better dealt with in debate than in question and answer.