Harlow’s Labour candidate slams government as close to 6,000 pensioners may lose free TV licence

Laura McAlpine, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Harlow and the Villages “5,980 households in Harlow are set to be affected if free TV licences for over-75s are scrapped altogether under this Tory Government”

LAURA McAlpine, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Harlow and the Villages has condemned the Government’s decision to outsource the financial responsibility of free tv licenses for over-75s to the BBC.

Ms McAlpine said: “This Government has broken their Manifesto promise and now millions of older households are faced with the prospect of losing their free TV licences. We were promised that people over-75s would keep free TV licences until the end of this Parliament, that is until 2022, but the Government has outsourced the responsibility and financial burden of free licences to the BBC, and they are now set to be curtailed, or cut completely from 2020.

“5,980 households in Harlow are set to be affected if free TV licences for over-75s are scrapped altogether. Under the Conservatives, the elderly and most vulnerable are always hit the hardest. In Harlow we’ve campaigned against library closures, the shutting down of Osler House GP surgery, bus cuts, and now we are fighting for the over-75s to keep their free tv licenses.”

Age UK has found that over two million over-75s would have to go without TV or cut back on essentials such as heating or eating if the concession is scrapped, and 50,000 pensioners could be pushed below the poverty line. 1.6 million over-75s live with a disability. People who have serious mobility issues and may not be easily able to leave their homes could lose their TV licence if the benefit is scrapped altogether.

The Labour Party believes that older people deserve better than this, if you agree then please sign the petition: https://action.labour.org.uk/page/s/tv-licence

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4 Responses to "Harlow’s Labour candidate slams government as close to 6,000 pensioners may lose free TV licence"

  1. MickyB77   May 11, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Listen in folks, we’re doing the “if” scenario again for the benefit of the faceless wonder, who wishes to be our new MP.

  2. jhumphreys84   May 11, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    While I agree that some people should have this, there are a number of pensioners who actually earn well of private pensions and don’t actually need freebies. Now, again, instead of saying this conservative policy is bad, why not propose something useful like means tested TV licences for over 75’s? Or does that require a bit of thought and not easy enough just to point fingers with lazy politics and offer no meaningful solutions again

  3. kthe5   May 11, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    I think as the BBC get the most benifit from the Licence fees the decision to allow free licences or not should be theirs.
    Means testing is a complex issue. There were some studies from a few years ago.
    A study by the NAO in 2011
    https://www.nao.org.uk/report/means-testing/
    Shows that “There is a lack of coordination of, and overall accountability for, means testing across government.”
    From Committee of Public Accounts in 2012:
    “The benefit system is difficult to understand and places a high burden on claimants.”
    https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmpubacc/1627/1627.pdf
    From Loughborough University
    https://www.lboro.ac.uk/media/wwwlboroacuk/content/crsp/downloads/reports/Means%20testing%20or%20Universalism_Final%20Report.pdf
    This discusses the pros & cons of means testing or universalism.

  4. MickyB77   May 12, 2019 at 6:01 am

    I believe that the “free” license is payable to people who are 75 years of age,
    regardless of income. But, don’t forget that they pay tax on earnings, ie, pension,
    if they receive more than £12k p a.
    Katy, get a life!

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