TV Licences for over-75S

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:46 pm on 8th May 2019.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 1:46 pm, 8th May 2019

Please tell Joanne that we are on her side and that we will be pressing the Government to honour their promises to her and the hundreds of thousands of other pensioners.

The number of pensioners living in poverty is rising—it is 1.9 million today, but it is forecast to pass 2 million by 2020. That is to this Government’s shame. Their austerity agenda asks us to focus on the numbers, but we must not forget the human reality of what life is like for our oldest citizens. Social isolation is the scourge that is on the rise. New research from Age UK shows that half of the 4.5 million over-75s in the UK do not live with a partner, with two thirds having a long-standing illness that means they find it difficult to get out and about. The most heartbreaking of these new statistics is the fact that 400,000 people aged over 75 go a week without meeting up with or speaking on the phone to friends or family. Just one in nine over-75s say that they are not lonely.