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Television Licences: Older People

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL4378, tabled on 24 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what further steps they are taking to overturn the BBC removal of free TV licences for those over 75 years old.

Answered on

8 December 2021

The Government remains deeply disappointed with the BBC's decision to restrict the licence fee concession for people over the age of 75 to only those in receipt of pension credit. We recognise the value of free TV licences for people over the age of 75 and believe they should be funded by the BBC.

The Digital Economy Act 2017 provides that the future of the concession is the responsibility of the BBC, not of the Government. This reform was subject to public discussion and debated extensively during the passage of the Act through Parliament. The BBC must ensure that it supports those affected by its decision, and it must look at how it uses its substantial licence fee income to support older people.