Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:33 pm on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State 12:33 pm, 21st July 2020

As I say, the matter was extensively debated during the passage of the Digital Economy Act 2017, and it was Parliament that agreed that the responsibility should be transferred to the BBC, so that is not likely to be reversed. It is a matter for the BBC as to how it goes about this. The Government are disappointed and believe that alternative options were available. I encourage the pensioners in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency to check whether they are entitled to receive pension credit and therefore to maintain a free TV licence. The exemption was introduced only 12 years ago, at an age that was relatively arbitrary at the time; it did not need to be set at that age and that is something else that the BBC might have considered.