Labour used an Opposition Day in Parliament to demonstrate the anger against the Government’s decision to break its manifesto promise and outsource the responsibility and financial burden of free TV licenses for over-75s to the BBC. Due to the Government’s U-turn, free TV licenses are set to be curtailed or cut completely from 2020. The free TV License was
Introduced under a Labour Government in 2000. It recognises that the license fee could be a source of concern for many people over the age of 75, nearly 50% of whom were in the lowest three income deciles. 4,200 people are currently eligible to receive the free TV License in Newcastle East. I believe it is an important benefit for pensioners who suffer disproportionately from loneliness and social isolation. If TV licenses 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. The Labour Party will continue to urge the Government to reverse its decision.