TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby dutchman » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:14 pm

The BBC is to go ahead with a plan to end free TV licences for most over-75s, after a two-month delay because of the coronavirus pandemic

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That means more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from 1 August.

Only households where someone receives the Pension Credit benefit will still be eligible for a free licence.

The BBC said the new scheme is "the fairest decision", but the government said it was "deeply frustrating".

The controversial change was originally due to be made on 1 June, and the BBC said the delay had cost £35m a month.

The cost of continuing to provide free licences to all over-75s could have reached £1bn a year over time with an ageing population, according to the corporation.

BBC Chairman Sir David Clementi said the decision had "not been easy", but the broadcaster is under "under severe financial pressure" and a further delay would have had an impact on programmes.

The BBC has previously warned that making no changes would lead to "unprecedented closures" of services.

In March, the corporation put the changes on hold because the pandemic had created "exceptional circumstances" and "now is not the right time".

It has also previously said it must make an extra £125m savings this year as a result of the pandemic, including the cost of delaying the over-75s changes.

The BBC has now said there will be a "Covid-safe" payment system, meaning people can apply online, and there will be a dedicated phone line and support staff.

"No-one needs to take any immediate action, or leave their home, to claim for a free TV licence or pay for one," a statement said.

TV Licensing will write to all licence holders aged over 75 with clear guidance about how to pay, it said.

Almost 1.6 million people claim Pension Credit, according to the latest government figures. Of those, 450,000 have already applied for a free licence.

:bbc_news:
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Re: TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby dutchman » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:26 pm

Pension Credit is an extremely crude method of determining which pensioners are the poorest and which are not. To begin with many of the poorest pensioners don't or can't claim it for various reasons including archaic savings capital rules. Someone who does claim it is quite often in receipt of other benefits which leave them considerably better off than someone who can't. :roll:
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Re: TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby rebbonk » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:54 pm

I suspect the BBC may live to regret this.
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Re: TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby dutchman » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:21 pm

I know at least one elderly person who thinks it's a great idea.

Mind you,
Spoiler:
he doesn't have to pay it! :clown:
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Re: TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby dutchman » Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:02 pm

BBC ripped into over 'lazy and cynical' strategy on over-75 TV licence fee exemption

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THE BBC were savaged by a campaigner who claims the broadcast giant was being "lazy and cynical" regarding the TV licence fee over-75s exemption list.

Director of campaign group Silver Voices Dennis Reed argued there were many over-75s who would not be able to afford the new fees. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Reed claimed the BBC's exemption list focused too much on those on pension credit and was not inclusive enough. He argued millions of pensioners would still fall through the cracks and not be able to pay.

Mr Reed said: "Relying on pension credit anyway is a lazy and cynical approach by the BBC.

"This is because the BBC well know that only 60 percent of those eligible for pension credit actually claim it.

"So there is 40 percent of people who are in actual poverty at the moment who still have to pay the fee because for whatever reason they do not claim pension credit."

Mr Reed also discussed what other potential impacts he feels the fees for over-75s could have.

He said: "We are also concerned by the one to two million people who are just above the pension credit limit as they will also struggle to pay.

"People with a small widow's pension or small occupational pension, they will struggle to pay.

"We think the BBC has been lazy in just relying on this."

Mr Reed noted how the BBC should go about rectifying this issue to ensure the best outcome for over-75s across the country.

He said: "The BBC should be looking at everybody who genuinely cannot afford to pay the fee.

"It is a large amount of money, £150.50, it is approximately equivalent to one week of the state pension.

"So if you rely on the state pension as your sole income as lots of people do that is a week of it gone on the TV.

"That is a huge amount in one go or even in 12 monthly instalments."

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Re: TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby rebbonk » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:58 pm

Blatantly stolen...

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Re: TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby dutchman » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:22 am

:lol:
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Re: TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

Postby Melisandre » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:58 am

:lol: :applause:
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