Whoops, Sorry, Lord Hall Calling Over 75s To Pay Up And Be Happy.
“Spending by the BBC is included within AME (annually managed expenditure). This page groups together BBC spending with the main source of income that finances it: licence fee receipts. Licence fee receipts are classified as a tax by the ONS (because the licence fee is a compulsory payment which is not paid solely for access to BBC services).
“As classified in the National Accounts – and therefore as it appears in our forecasts – this will be the only source of public income for the BBC from 2020-21, by which point grants from central government (which currently compensate the BBC for the provision of free TV licences to over-75 households) will have been phased out. Most BBC spending is day-to-day current spending, reflecting staff and procurement costs (e.g. the provision of TV, online and radio content), with relatively little capital spending”.
Quotation “In my advancing years I have to spend longer hours at home, so watching TV is not just a pastime but a necessity. TV is my “life support machine!” I am convinced it ought to be free for people on low income and particularly so for the over 75s. I do hope the proposition will be rescinded”.
Quotation “I am on a small pension and if it came to a choice between food and TV, I would lose out and become isolated and alone. TV keeps me company.”
Under new plans, only older people who receive a benefit called Pension Credit will receive a free TV licence. But two fifths of people who are entitled to this benefit, about 1.2 million pensioners, aren’t getting it. Some don’t know they can claim, many struggle to apply and lots more feel embarrassed about needing help. These people are some of the poorest in our society.
People who are barely scraping by will suffer
Lots of older people have struggled throughout their working life to save a little extra for retirement. But that small pot of savings for a rainy day means they don’t qualify for means-tested benefits. Others are coping with the costs of ill-health or disability. Taking their free TV licence away is a cruel blow.
How will older people be affected? Removing older people’s access to TV would be an unthinkably cruel blow when many are already facing huge challenges. Quotes on this page, below, are from real people who’d be affected by the decision.
Half of all over 75s are living with a disability, and many rely on their TV for companionship and entertainment.
For those who don’t have the internet, TV lets them stay up to date with what’s happening in the world.
Nearly a third of over 75s are living in poverty or just above the poverty line. Paying a hefty extra bill would simply be impossible when they’re barely scraping by as it is.
Our research shows that more than 2 million over 75s will have to go without TV or cut back on heating and food if free TV licences were scrapped.
And the BBC still intends to carry on paying a rich ex-footballer £1,750,000 a year, to show one hour per week videos of matches played earlier. You couldn’t make it up!