As I’m sure you will have heard on the news, the BBC has confirmed plans to end the universal free TV Licence for people aged 75 and over. From June 2020, only people who receive Pension Credit will be able to apply for a free TV licence.
Free TV licences for those households with someone aged 75+ was a policy introduced by Gordon Brown in 2000. In 2015 Theresa May’s Government made the BBC responsible for this service. This move has indirectly broken the Government’s manifesto pledge to keep free licences.
I am opposed to this change. In Worsley & Eccles South there are over 4,190 households with someone aged 75+ who could lose their free TV licence.
Independent Age recently published research saying that 1.3 million pensioner households might not be receiving the Pension Credit they are entitled to. I encourage you to check whether you or a family member could be entitled to Pension Credit which will also mean being able to keep the free licence.
In our constituency there are already around 2,438 people missing out on Pension Credit money which is rightfully theirs. Even if the payments are small it is worth claiming, because Pension Credit ‘unlocks’ other support including Cold Weather Payments, free NHS Dental treatment, eye tests, housing benefit, help with Council Tax and, from June 2020, the free TV licence.
Pension Credit tops up your weekly income if it is below £167.25 (or £255.25 for couples), excluding income from disability-related benefits and some savings. I invite you to contact my office to find out if you are eligible to receive Pension Credit.
I believe that the contributions made by people throughout their lives should be properly recognised in older age, and that is why I am committed to ensuring that all older people receive the dignity and security they deserve.
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