Ben Fogle donates Animal Park salary towards over-75 TV licences

Brenda Watkins
June 14, 2019

Here are some questions answered.

Households without anyone who receives Pension Credit will have to pay for a TV license under the new policy.

"Given the vast amount of Benefits which go unclaimed by those entitled to it, and this has been the case for decades, while I encourage pensioners to apply for pension credit, in the meantime, at the very least the unclaimed Pension Credit element should be used by the UK Government to fund free TV licences for the over 75s".

Mrs Thompson, who has been manager of the day centre for 10 years, said the additional outgoing may force some older people to cut back on necessities, and said the government should step in and keep funding the concession for all over-75s.

He said: "Whilst we know that pensioner incomes have improved since 2000, we also know that for some the TV licence is a lot of money".

- Who has opposed the change?

Responding, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said the BBC "must be respected" in its decision making.

Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon has labelled the Government as "inept, in contempt and out of touch" over their changes to BBC funding that has led the BBC to implement changes to the way it handles over 75's TV licenses.

Kim Lona Kendall: "It's a disgrace and they should be ashamed of themselves".

He said: "I feel sorry for older people; maybe their families live miles away, some people don't see anyone for weeks on end".

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- Who has defended the BBC?

Fogle, who pledged to donate his entire salary from this year's series of the BBC's Animal Park programme to subsidise TV licences for pensioners, said he is concerned for those who will not be able to afford the cost of a licence from next year.

"Pensioner benefits should never have been outsourced to the BBC".

Three major petitions have been launched opposing the move.

Charities such as Age UK have criticised the move, saying it could see many older people having to give up their televisions.

Over 20,000 have added their names to a petition on the Labour website while 86,000 have signed a petition on the parliamentary site.

Remarking on what her friends think of the decision to axe free TV licences for over 75s, she said: "Disgusting really, to put it briefly".

"Helen Thomas, Director BBC England and the Crown Dependencies, has written to the Chief Minister this week and will look forward to discussing considerations with the Isle of Man Government as soon as possible". "Of course means-testing is hard, I quite understand".

The decision comes four years after the government announced the BBC would take over the responsibility for providing free licences by 2020 as part of the licence fee settlement.

"The Tories simply can not be trusted on delivering for Scotland's older people".

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