Television Licences: Older People

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Labour, Hemsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the BBC on that organisation reversing its forthcoming changes to the free over-75s television licence allowance.

Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the BBC on the decision to remove the free TV license for over 75s.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The government meets with the BBC on regular occasions to discuss a wide range of issues, including the over 75 concession. The Government has consistently made clear its disappointment with the BBC's decision to restrict the over 75 licence fee concession to only those in receipt of pension credit. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe they should be funded by the BBC.

The BBC remains responsible for the administration of the concession and it will be responsible for setting out what those affected will need to do. It must look urgently at how it can use its substantial licence fee income to support older people and deliver for UK audiences of all ages.

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