FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAMPAIGNING PENSIONERS DEMAND WESTMINSTER TAKE BACK RESPONSIBILITY FOR TV LICENCE FIASCO
The Scottish Pensioners’ Forum, the campaigning organisation for older people in Scotland today reacted with dismay at the BBC’s decision to move ahead on withdrawing the concessionary TV licence for all over 75s from August 1st.
Maureen Gardner, SPF Chair, stated:
“Although the two month extension to the concession during the coronavirus pandemic was most welcome, we’re gravely disappointed that the latest decision by the BBC comes at a time when the UK is still basically in lockdown. A stay of execution of just two months is not nearly enough.”
It has been widely documented that older people have been disproportionality impacted by coronavirus across the UK with research findings showing that returning to normal will be a daunting prospect in many cases.
“We can’t just wave a magic wand and make the past few months disappear, if only it were that simple. This pandemic has left a legacy of isolation and fear amongst many older people who only have their television set for information, entertainment and company. It was bad enough before all this but the reality is that the situation is even more dire now. The rug is being pulled from under our feet yet again.”
This latest announcement means that over 3 million older people across the UK are now under threat of losing their TV licence and many can ill afford the £157.50 per year they would have to pay to stay tuned in.
“Lockdown has brought with it increased energy usage, increased food costs and a potential threat to pensions to help pay for it all, this on top of everything else will drive even more pensioners into poverty than ever before.”
Maureen went on:
“The SPF totally understands that the BBC have been forced into a position that they are not entirely comfortable with, our many meetings and talks with them have only reinforced that. We do demand however that rather than the Westminster government feigning disbelief at the BBC’s decision to means test, they should take back responsibility for welfare policy that should never have been transferred to the BBC in the first place.”
Maureen finished by saying:
“The SPF fully recognises just what the removal of the free TV licence for over-75s will mean for some of the most vulnerable members of our society across the UK and feel that a broad campaigning coalition of like-minded groups and individuals co-ordinating their actions will draw further attention to the harm this decision has caused.”
For more information please contact
Eileen Cawley 07506 100393 firstname.lastname@example.org