Wednesday 17 October 2018 / 12:57 PM Tom Watson

Scrapping or restricting free TV licenses for over 75s would be a terrible blow to elderly people

Tom Watson MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, commenting on plans to scrap or restrict free TV licenses for over 75s, said:

“This was always the danger when the Government passed the cost of free licenses for over 75s to the BBC.

“Labour was completely opposed to this part of the last charter agreement and we are still firmly of the belief that the Government was totally wrong to devolve a welfare policy in this way.

“This would be a terrible blow to elderly people who already struggle to make ends meet and particularly to those who are housebound or isolated and rely on their TV as a way to stay in touch with the outside world. You can’t means test for social isolation even if you tried.

“The Government needs to tell us urgently what they are going to do to ensure this benefit remains. If they do nothing, responsibility for elderly people losing their TV licenses will rest firmly at their door.”