The Government are reneging not on a two-year pledge but on a 22-year pledge. When the Bill that introduced free TV licences went through the House of Commons, the then Opposition spokesman—Peter Ainsworth, Member for East Surrey—said:
“The Government will no doubt be interested to know whether the Opposition support the granting of free television licences to those over 75. In anticipation of that question, let me say at the outset that of course we give an enthusiastic welcome to any sensible measure that alleviates the burden of the licence fee on the elderly.”—[Official Report,
Vol. 348, c. 122.]
It is a 22-year rip-up by the Government, not a two-year one.