has urged the BBC to rethink its plan to scrap free TV licences for most over-75s, as it announced that three million pensioners would no longer be eligible for the concession. Yet she has known this was coming for four years!
The Prime Minister was “very disappointed” by the decision, a spokesperson said, after the BBC revealed eligibility for free licences will be means-tested from June next year, leaving them only available to those who qualify for pension credit.
Around 1.5 million of the 4.45 million households currently receiving free licences will be eligible.
The corporation said maintaining the universal scheme would cost £745 million a year and necessitate the closure of BBC Two, BBC Four, the BBC News channel, Radio 5 Live and BBC Scotland, plus local radio stations and other services. The new scheme will cost £250 million per year.
The announcement triggered a major clash with the government, which passed responsibility for the scheme on to the BBC as part of a deal negotiated four years ago. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “We are very disappointed with this decision. We have been clear that we expected the BBC to continue this concession.
“People across the country value television as a way to stay connected and we want the BBC to look again at ways to support older people. Taxpayers want to see the BBC using its substantial licence fee income in an appropriate way to ensure it delivers for UK audiences, which includes showing restraint on salaries for senior staff”.
We’ve been ratted on, it’s May hitting pensioners while the profligate BBC pays outrageous salaries for so called “stars”. The BBC should now be sold off to a broadcaster that can run it like ITV.