Government U-turn on TV Licences for over-75s

During Business Questions on Thursday 12 March 2020, I urged the Government to think again over TV licence charges for over 75s. On Monday 16 March 2020 the Government and BBC announced their decision to delay TV licence fee changes for the over 75s until August in light of the coronavirus situation. Free TV licences for up to 3.7 million people had been due to be scrapped on 1 June 2020, but that has been put back to 1 August 2020.

I welcome this U-turn but would like to see free TV licences for over 75s reinstated indefinitely, not just until August. While it makes sense to delay the introduction of TV licence fee charges for the over 75s because of the coronavirus, our seniors should not be charged at all and the plans should be scrapped entirely.

In the testing months ahead, we will all need our public service broadcasters to be a source of reliable information, as well as entertainment, as the numbers of those self-isolating grows.