Wayne David, Labour MP, for Caerphilly, has today pledged to do all he can to oppose the plans to axe free TV licences for people over the age of 75.
It has been announced that from June next year, TV licences will be linked to Pension Credit and means-tested. This is despite the commitment given by the Conservative Party in their last manifesto that they would keep all pensioner benefits, including the free TV licence for over 75s.
Research from the House of Commons Library shows that there are 5,410 households in the Caerphilly constituency that receive the free TV licence. However, if means-testing is brought in next year, 68% of (or 3,700) households will no longer qualify for the free TV licence.
Free TV licences for people aged over 75 were brought in by the Labour Government in 2000 and they have proved to be an important benefit for pensioners, who suffer disproportionately from loneliness and social isolation. According to research by Age UK, half of all older people consider the television as their main form of company.
Wayne David said, “By allowing the scrapping of free TV licences for the over-75s, the Tories will be delivering another welfare cut to some of the most vulnerable in our society. This is a betrayal of older citizens, who deserve dignity in retirement and reward for their hard work.
“Instead, 3,700 pensioner households in the Caerphilly constituency will lose their free TV licence because this Tory Government refuses to honour their election manifesto. It is a disgrace. I will be doing all I can to persuade Boris Johnson and his Ministers that they should do the right thing and maintain the funding for free TV licences for all over-75s in Caerphilly and the rest of the country.”