More than 85% of Tele readers think the BBC TV Licence should be abolished.
Following the announcement that the BBC will scrap automatically free TV Licences for over-75s from next year, the subject sparked public debate, so we asked for our readers’ thoughts.
A free TV Licence will only be available to households with someone aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit from June 2020, the BBC has announced.
The broadcaster has stated it will apply the charge to avoid substantial cutbacks.
However, the BBC has received substantial resistance to the move, with petitions launched calling for the broadcaster to reconsider the plans.
There were 540 people who voted in our online poll, and just 16 people (2.96%) think the TV Licence is value for money.
An overwhelming majority of 462 votes (85.56%) think the TV Licence should be abolished.
There were 42 people (7.78%) who said there should be a licence – but it should cost less.
And, 20 people, 3.7% of those who voted, think there should be a TV Licence, but it should be means tested.
A number of petitions have been launched to try and keep the TV Licence free for over-75s, with one by charity Age UK attracting now sitting at more than 572,000 signatures.
Another, on the UK Government and Parliament website is approaching 172,000 supporters.
Tilly Robinson-Miles, who specialises in older people’s food security at the University of Sheffield, said many older people she had spoken to during her research use television to connect with the outside world and described it as a “social lifeline”.
One widow of 75, who eats dinner alone most nights, said to Tilly: “I sit with a tray and watch the telly.
“You just need something to take the mind off the fact you’re just sitting there alone.”
The announcement reignited dialogue over the BBC’s highest earner, Gary Linekar, whose £1.75 million annual salary could cover the cost of more than 11,300 television licenses.
The BBC posted a tweet which explained: “From June 2020 any household with someone aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence funded by the BBC.
“This means: Those least able to pay will still get a free licence
“Viewers & listeners will still receive the best programmes and services that the BBC can provide.”
If you have any questions following the BBC’s announcement on future of the over 75s TV Licence fee, please head to https://t.co/nsfk6REyzY
TV Licensing customers over 75 do not need to take any immediate action and will be supported through these changes.
— TV Licensing News (@tvlicensingnews) June 10, 2019