Age Cymru responds to BBC announcement that they will end free TV licences for most over 75s next month

Written by on 10th July 2020

Age Cymru, the National charity for older people in Wales has responded to yesterday’s announcement from the BBC that they will end free TV licences for most over 75s next month

Age Cymru’s chief executive, Victoria Lloyd says: “We are deeply disappointed by this decision as it will deliver a huge body blow to the thousands of over 75s in Wales who have already endured an extremely difficult time with Covid 19.

Many will find it impossible to find the £150 and will either ditch their TV or cut back on essentials such as food or fuel.  For many older people who live alone TV is their main source of companionship and not having one could have serious implications for their mental health and wellbeing. It could also mean that older people will miss out on accessing crucial information as we enter the recovery phase of Covid 19.

And while the BBC says that the poorest pensioners who receive Pension Credit will not have to pay, it is estimated that up to two fifths of eligible pensions don’t actually claim this particular benefit and will therefore be expected to pay the £150.

The decision is particularly cruel as comes at a time when many older people are either shielding or maintaining social isolation and therefore depend on their TV more than ever.

“Ultimately, the responsibility for this decision lies with the Westminster government and we urge them to meet with the BBC to find a solution so that everyone over 75 can continue to enjoy the benefits of free television viewing.”

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