Tories to inflict poverty on millions of pensioners after secret licence fee deal with BBC

Conservative pensioners: Why do you vote for a party that is determined to reduce you to poverty and misery?

The latest step in the Tory attack on pensioners is a stealth tax on television and the radio: From June 2020, 3.7 million pensioner households will have to stump up £154.50 a year for a TV licence.

The change will push many elderly viewers and listeners into poverty, according to charities including Age UK.

The BBC says it needs the money – it says the cost of the over-75s subsidy is £745 million (if you check that against the number of households affected and the cost of the licence, those numbers don’t add up, by the way) – equivalent to the cost of BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, the BBC News channel, CBBC and CBeebies.

What does that leave? BBC1 and the radio channels? And they cost 80 per cent of the licence fee?

It seems to This Writer that someone must be drawing down an extremely fat salary!

That’s a question we need to discuss, but there is an even more important issue here:

This is another stealth tax by the Conservative government.

The intention is to ‘nudge’ people into believing that the BBC is greedily demanding money from vulnerable pensioners but this is not true.

The subsidy was brought in by the New Labour government in 1999, when Gordon Brown promised to pay the BBC to provide the service.

Tory Chancellor George Osborne reversed that agreement in 2015 when he told the BBC the government would stop paying the subsidy by June 2020.

It’s a typical Tory tactic.

They starved councils of funding, forcing them to cut services to the public. Who got the blame? The local authority.

They privatised huge swathes of the National Health Service, meaning that public funds were diverted into the profits of private firms and services suffered while the Tories were claiming to be increasing funding massively. Who got the blame? The NHS.

Now this.

Worse still, the Tories are using this as an opportunity to introduce means-testing for over-75s. They will demand to know how much money each household receives, in order to determine whether it should have a subsidised licence.

But the idea of means-testing by asking whether households are in receipt of pension credit is fatally flawed.

Many households don’t even know they qualify for the benefit because the Conservative government hasn’t bothered to tell them.

So bravo to the BBC for announcing the change on the day the Tory leadership contest got started.

Hopefully it will become an issue that a new Tory leader will promise to address – although we should all know by now that a Tory promise isn’t worth the air used to speak it.

Source: BBC confirms plans to make over-75s pay TV licence fee | Media | The Guardian

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11 Thoughts to “Tories to inflict poverty on millions of pensioners after secret licence fee deal with BBC”

  1. Hi Mike, the brutal manner that TV Licensing use to extort the licence fee is disgraceful but there is a remedy. Do what I did ten years ago and ditched watching “live” TV mostly because of the human ordure that passes for 21st Century televisual “entertainment”. There is plenty of “catch-up” TV content on ITV hub, All 4, Amazon Prime, Netflix etc for which no licence is needed. You need a licence to watch BBC iPlayer live or catch-up. However I like watching Dr. Who but Netflix have bought the content from the BBC so BBC content is available on Netflix without needing a licence (don’t know about other providers).

    The Radio Licence was abolished in February 1971 so no licence is needed to listen to the radio, whether BBC radio nor from another provider.

    1. Mike Sivier

      But don’t you need a licence to watch the catchup content?

      1. No, except for iPlayer for TV content. Catch-up TV from other providers does need a licence.

      2. wildswimmerpete

        That should read “Catch-up TV from other providers does NOT need a licence”. Senior moment (well, that’s my excuse).

  2. well this should help a lot of those pensioners who the papers keep telling us vote tory, to change sides. hopefully to labour though not, as the EU voters did, vote for smaller parties.

  3. kateuk

    It was announced the same day that Boris promised tax cuts for higher earners which would mean £6000 tax cut for Tory MPs that vote for him to become leader. Bugger the poor pensioners, only the rich can get anything out of this government.

  4. chris B

    They Might Just Have cut of their nose, I am 75 and do not have a TV. When more pensioners decide they can do without then one of the big propaganda machines will start to loose its influence. Pity that.

    1. for years i only ever watched tv on itv on a sunday night when dancing on ice was on or one of the bigger dramas. that was for 1-2 hours only once a week and only in the winter. never put it on at all in summer..then this winter i found myself having to sit for long periods of time with my feet up to try get rid of fluid on my legs. i only use a desk top pc , laptop screens are far too small for me now.so i decided on getting freeview. paid for an outside aerial because i had previously been with virgin media so didnt need one, but recently changed for broadband and phone from them to a new provider. i have watched tv much more over the past 6-8 months, but then again if you have a pc you still have to pay for a TV license. i only started getting a free one last year so when i had no choice but to watch tv to keep my brain going (big laff).. i felt at last i was getting something for the money i had paid for years. as for keeping my brain going….thats actually a laugh cos i spend as much time asleep in my chair as watching tv and so far havent watched a programme right through proving to me that tv addles your brain and actually does nothing to stop the onset of senility.

  5. Growing Flame

    A brief perusal of the newspaper headlines at the entrance to my local supermarket indicates -to no great surprise- that the Tory Press (ie most of the Press) is blaming the cruel BBC for the whole thing. As newspaper readership continues to shrink, but remains a favoured source of news for many older citizens, I fear that the obvious conclusions may NOT be drawn by those most affected by this decision. Instead, it will be the “biased,Left-Wing” BBC that will be blamed, just as the Tories intended.

    1. can I ask where you get that the BBC is left wing, from? its always stood by the conservatives for as long as i can remember. as far as i know, conservatism is right wing.the left wing is biased but not in the way BBC is. they are bised towards the following because they want help for the elderly ,disabled, ill and unemployed. to stop the sanctions, and other forms of austerity and stopb the privatisation of or NHS and railways among other things.and they are against this abomination that the conservatives are continually heaping on the heads of those less fortunate.

  6. On one week these nasty evil people were pretending to honour the survivors of D-Day and the Second World War, then in the next breath they do a dirty deal with the BBC to deprive many of them of one crumb of comfort they have, while the arrogant and ignorant slob Johnson promises big tax cuts for the wealthy if they elect him the Nasty Party leader.

    Well, let’s hope the pensioners who for some reason still vote for the Nasty Party remember this at election time.

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