In 2015 the Government announced, without prior consultation that from 2020 the BBC will have to fund TV licences for over 75’s from their own budgets.
The BBC have estimated that in 2020/21 this will cost £745m and represents a fifth of their annual budget and implementing this requirement would see unprecedented closures and cuts to TV and radio channels. On 10th June 2019, the BBC informed its viewers that free TV licences for over 75’s will be scrapped. It is estimated that 3.7m pensioners will lose their free TV licence.
At the Council meeting of 27th June, BDC recognised that the impact that this will have will be wide ranging, but the poor and the vulnerable will be hit hardest by the loss. BDC agreed in a motion to write to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to consider the consequences of their actions and to request that they reconsider their 2015 decision.
So we must hope that the Government has a change of heart and continues to fund the licences for the over 75’s, from the Government purse rather than requiring the BBC to make excuses for its own failings.