The BBC should assist pensioners and vulnerable groups by offering more free TV licences, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has found. British households are required to have a TV licence to watch or stream programming broadcast live. The fee costs £159 per year and covers all devices in a household. The licence fee has been frozen until April 2024, before rising with inflation until 2028.
Yet earlier this week, Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan questioned the Government on the “adequacy of the cost of the TV licence for elderly people” as the cost of living continues to rise.
Culture Minister Matt Warman said: “This [prize freeze] settlement aims to support all households at a time when they need that support the most.”
He added that he was “deeply disappointed” over the public broadcaster’s decision to restrict the eligibility for free television licences.
He explained: “We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe they should be funded by the BBC. The BBC must look at how it uses its substantial licence fee income to support older people.”
In a poll that ran from 11am on Wednesday, September 14, to 1pm on Thursday, September 15, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should BBC assist pensioners with more free TV licences?”
Overall, 1,344 people responded with the overwhelming result being “yes”, with 97 percent (1,308 people) of votes.
Meanwhile, three percent (33 people) said “no”, the BBC should not offer more free TV licences, and just three people said they did not know.
Dozens of readers shared their views on the TV licence in the comments below the accompanying article.
And username biffomajor commented: “Just make it a subscription.”
The BBC handles the administration of the licence fee, yet the Government determines discounts and exemptions.
At present only those aged over 75 on Pension Credit are exempt from the fee, including those living in a qualifying care homes or sheltered accommodation.
There is also a 50 percent discount for those who are registered blind.
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