- Free TV Licences for the over 75s could be scrapped
- The Government has pushed on with their consultation over TV licences despite the COVID-19 outbreak
- BBC provides a lifeline to the most vulnerable in times of crisis, in the floods and in the virus outbreak
Luke has called on the people of Plymouth to make their voices heard to help save free TV Licences for the over 75s. The government is pushing ahead with a consultation that looks to overhaul the TV Licence fee and the BBC’s funding model. Despite a manifesto commitment to protect free TV licences for the over 75s the Government has cut the amount of funding this costs from the BBC budget forcing their hand and passing on the cut to over 75s.
Labour’s Shadow Culture Media and Sport Secretary, Tracy Brabin, has written to the government calling on the licence fee to be suspended. She has so far received no response.
Luke has been a consistent and vocal opponent of plans to take free TV licences away from the over 75s and is fighting now to secure the BBC’s future. For many elderly people who are now being shielded at home from the virus outbreak, especially those on low incomes, the BBC is a lifeline to trusted news about the outbreak and a link to the wider world.
The Government consultation on TV licences closes tomorrow (Wednesday 1 April) and Luke is calling on the people of Plymouth to make their voice heard on the last day of the consultation by responding to the consultation to protect funding for the BBC.
“This pandemic has made the need for high-quality, independent public service broadcasting clearer than ever. Vulnerable people across Plymouth rely on the BBC for trusted and unbiased information at this time of crisis. And many over 75s rely on the licence fee being free so they can still afford to watch the TV. I want to see Ministers recognise that free TV licences should be protected and not to devolve blame for this cut to the BBC. They have the power to scrap this cut if they want to use it and I hope they will recognise the huge public support for the BBC and avoid taking measures that puts the BBC’s future funding in doubt.”
You can respond to the licence fee consultation here. The consultation closes at 5pm, Tuesday 1 April.