At a time when a significant number of older people will be relying on these services due to the coronavirus crisis and lockdown measures, the decision to scrap free BBC TV licences for most over-75s is disgraceful and will have a devastating impact.
Many older people in Inverclyde will depend heavily on TV licences as their only means of receiving crucial health updates on the coronavirus crisis and measures being brought forward. At this critical time – when we could potentially see further lockdown measures if there is a spike in coronavirus cases – it is grossly irresponsible for the UK government to simply sit on their hands.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said;
At Age UK we’re bitterly disappointed by this decision on behalf of the millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time over the last few months and for whom this must feel like another kick in the teeth, during a terrible year.
Many older people on low incomes have told us that if they have to find £150 plus a year to pay for a licence then they will have to forego some other essential, or try to survive without TV at all. We genuinely worry about the mental health of older people living on their own in this situation if they have to give up their cherished TV – for some it really is all they have and their main way of alleviating their chronic loneliness.”