The over-75s are ‘losing out’ in discussions on the license cost.
CAMPAIGNERS are concerned that an impending cap may stifle efforts to restore free television licenses to the over-75s.
The BBC is in the last stages of negotiations for the next five years, and ministers are said to want the BBC to keep tax rises below inflation. According to Oilver Voices, the decision would tax the corporation’s budget, making it more difficult to restore the free licenses. Despite MPs criticizing the company for axing the perk last year, Director Dennis Reed said he was upset the Government was not utilizing the negotiations to make the over-75s licensing fee issue “go away.”
“The BBC will be even more cash-strapped, which will make it more difficult on this issue,” he said.
“I’d like some promises from the government on the over-75s, and this is the best moment to do so.”
Last year, the free licenses were phased out, with a payment grace period ending on July 31.
The annual £159 charge is waived for people who get pension credit.
From 2017, the government permitted it to climb in lockstep with inflation for five years.
Ministers are now concerned that increased expenses will harm people, so they want to keep it below inflation.
“No decisions have been made,” No 10 replied, “and we will announce a decision to Parliament in due course.”
Lord Grade, the former head of the BBC, said the corporation was “not immune from what’s going on in the rest of the country.”
Ex-Director-General Greg Dyke, on the other hand, stated that the broadcaster “needs to be adequately supported.”