Television: Licensing

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 5th September 2019.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Labour, Barnsley East

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her policy is on the provision of free television licences to pensioners over the age of 75.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State

In the 2015 funding settlement, we agreed with the BBC that responsibility for the concession will transfer to the BBC in June 2020. The BBC's Director General, Lord Hall, said after the settlement in 2015: "the government's decisions to put the cost of the over-75's on us has been more than matched by the deal coming back for the BBC."

The BBC announced in June 2019 that, only people who are aged 75 and above and in receipt of pension credit will continue to receive a free television licence from June 2020.

The Government is very disappointed with this decision. People across the country value television as a way to stay connected, and the Government expects the BBC to look at further ways to support older people. My officials will be continuing discussions with the BBC in order to look at further ways to support older people.

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