“We are so disappointed with the news that the BBC is to go ahead with its plan to end free TV licences for most over 75s from 1 August 2020. This will have a significant negative impact of thousands of lonely and isolated older people for whom TV is their main company. Whilst those receiving Pension Credit will be exempt, and others will have income and savings to draw on, many will fall in the middle and some of these will be struggling financially even if not enough to be eligible for Pension Credit.
The number of lonely and socially isolated older people was increasing pre-Covid 19 but the social distancing measures have resulted more older people isolated from friends and family. In 2014 Age UK referred to about 3.9m older people relying on TV for their main company and this is will now be much higher.
We therefore urge the UK Government to follow through on its manifesto commitment to maintain free TV licences for all those over 75.”
Rebecca Mollart Erosh CEO 10th July 2020