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.
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.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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