Local MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called on the Conservative UK Government to reinstate funding to the BBC in a bid to reverse the decision to end the free TV licences for the over 75s.
In 2015, the Digital Economy Act brought forward by David Cameron’s Conservative Government, stopped the funding for free TV licences for the over 75s. The funding for any schemes now needs to be found from the BBC’s budget for programmes and services.
The BBC’s funding is 24% lower than it would be if the licence fee had risen in line with inflation from 2010. The new scheme will cost the BBC around £250 million per year by 2021/22 depending on the take up of pension credit.
“Elderly people are yet again bearing the brunt of this Tory government. Hundreds of thousands of pensioners in Scotland are set to lose their entitlement to free TV licences.
“Older people’s charities are now warning that people over 75 will be at greater risk of isolation and loneliness as a result of this decision. It was completely wrong for this Conservative government to put a policy decision, like this, in the hands of a broadcasting company.
“It is clear that the Tory government in Westminster must re-instate funding for TV licences to the BBC to mitigate this loss for the over 75s.”