You may have heard that the Government has decided to scrap free TV licences for over 75s and make them means-tested instead. This means up to 3.7 million people in the UK, many of whom live on their own, are set to lose their free TV licences from June 2020.
The Government has blamed the BBC for taking this decision, but it has only done so due to the Government moving the cost of the licences from general government funding to be paid for directly out of a shrinking BBC budget.
The TV licence is an important benefit for pensioners who suffer disproportionately from loneliness and social isolation. If TV licences are ended or means-tested, millions of older people, almost half of whom consider television their main source of company, will have to pay to keep the little company they do have.
Many of you have already been in touch with me to let me know that you disagree with this move, and I am also completely opposed to the scrapping of the free TV licence, which many people in the City of Durham constituency benefit from.
I have urged the government to maintain free TV licences, and will continue to demand that the Government takes responsibility, and acts now to properly fund free TV licences for people over the age of 75.