Gransnet forums

Free TV licence to go?

(69 Posts)
FarNorth Thu 13-Sep-18 18:21:08

Boss of BBC says the free TV licence for older people could be re-thought in 2020, as they watch such a lot of TV.

www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/celebs-tv/bbc-tv-licence-concession-pensioners-1998341?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar

travelsafar Thu 13-Sep-18 18:37:53

Lets wait and see, i am fully expecting it to go mind you. It was deal breaker when introduced originally and times have changed. I would rather loose this than my bus pass. My AC always ask what i want at Christmas so money towards a licence would be great if ever i couldnt afford to buy it. I think you could buy stamps at the post office years ago, not sure if they are still available though.

FarNorth Thu 13-Sep-18 19:26:42

In fact, no-one needs to have a licence if they never watch BBC programmes.
There's no way of checking of course, so the licensing authority keeps that very quiet.

sodapop Thu 13-Sep-18 19:39:14

They will save so much by doing this won't they? Maybe losing some of the fat cat salaries and bonuses would be more financially rewarding.

kittylester Thu 13-Sep-18 19:51:47

It's another ridiculous benefit that should only go to the over 75S who actually need it like free prescriptions, bus passes and wfa.

FarNorth Thu 13-Sep-18 21:17:54

You do have to be 75 or over to get a free TV licence.

kittylester Thu 13-Sep-18 21:22:14

I know that! Not all people over 75 need any of the stuff they get free.

sodapop Thu 13-Sep-18 21:55:17

They may not all need those things kittylester but it does seem a bit mean of the BBC.
Not all the executives and presenters need the huge salaries and bonuses but they are still paid them from the public purse.

GillT57 Thu 13-Sep-18 22:02:21

As I understand it, the government made the generous gift of the free licence for over 75s but the BBC pay for it.

boheminan Thu 13-Sep-18 22:04:59

I only watch 1.5hrs TV a week, unfortunately on BBC. I don't have a television - my choice. 'Live' subtitles are farcical, so I have to watch online catch up. Yet I have to pay a full TV licence. This galls me immensely.

It would seem fairer if the fee (if not abolished) could be worked on a sliding scale. It's a farce that blind people are extempt from paying a fee - Oh, the generosity of the good old Beeb!

cornergran Thu 13-Sep-18 22:10:11

But many do kitty. I’m not sure what a fair dividing line would be, means tested benefit qualification doesn’t necessarily identify those who would struggle to pay, who may have to consider whether the trip into town to a shop or a club can be afforded. Thinking bus passes social isolation is a major trigger for depression.

Going back to licences the television is a lifeline for many who aren’t fortunate enough to have friends and family close by, perhaps their only regular entertainment and contact with the outside world.

I would agree, a review is sensible but the criteria need to be carefully thought about. No one is forced to apply for a bus pass, I’m not sure about the tv licence, does that come without application? I do feel strongly about prescription charges, my belief is they should be removed or drastically reduced for all. I am aware of several adults who postpone filling their prescriptions because they cannot afford the charge when the prescription is issued.

No easy answer I fear.

varian Thu 13-Sep-18 22:32:42

Since almost everyone has access to BBC radio, tv and/or website, perhaps the BBC should be funded from general taxation.

MaizieD Thu 13-Sep-18 23:32:51

It's another ridiculous benefit that should only go to the over 75S who actually need it like free prescriptions, bus passes and wfa.

We've been here before with child Benefits. It would probably cost more to means test for eligibility than just give them free to all.

Grandelinquent Fri 14-Sep-18 11:40:25

If the BBC was impartial politically I wouldn't object to the licence fee. Their news in particular is always biased and I now watch or listen to SKY news instead. In fact I watch the BBC less and less as time goes on. There are plenty of better TV channels out there. However, I have no objections to a free TV licence for the elderly as it is often a lifeline for many of them.

Daddima Fri 14-Sep-18 12:49:15

FarNorth, sadly you do need a licence to watch or record any ‘ live’ broadcasts, not just BBC.

Tartlet Fri 14-Sep-18 13:20:47

Just to point out that you’re not quite accurate and I wouldn’t like anyone to get caught out.

If you watch any live TV at all, regardless of channel, you need a TV licence.

The BBC exemption only applies if you never watch live TV and never watch anything on BBC iplayer.

Tartlet Fri 14-Sep-18 13:24:05

Sorry Dadima, I was replying to FarNorth and saying the same thing as you. (I haven’t got used to not being able to quote a post in a reply in here).

HootyMcOwlface Fri 14-Sep-18 15:10:40

Well there shouldn’t be any trouble covering the cost of these licences if they get rid of a few more useless presenters like Chris Evans.

Mrspn19479 Fri 14-Sep-18 16:37:55

My 93 year old mother enjoys her television, her pension is tiny and she has no other benefits. To means test is expensive, we pay a lot of tax on our pensions. I feel that it would be mean and spiteful to deprive a very small section of the public of a small good such as TV licenses or winter fuel benefit. To deprive the elderly of their only friendly voice or face during a lonely boring day or night is short sighted.

Charleygirl Fri 14-Sep-18 16:47:23

I agree, many of your mother's age and younger are surviving on tiny pensions and yes, if a friendly face on TV helps the hours go by- good luck.

I will be eligible next Saturday! Trust the BBC to be thinking of charging us again. Some of the salaries are mind blowing.

Granny23 Fri 14-Sep-18 20:30:03

I had just resolved to stop paying our TV licence as a protest against the relentless Unionist Bias of the BBC, when Loh & Behold a letter arrived saying that we need no longer pay because DH had turned 75. The same month my Sister got a letter to say that she was now liable for a TV licence as her (10 years older) Dh had recently died.

Neither of us could make any sense of the logic behind this, where a grieving and lonely widow was suddenly having to stump up for the licence.

Missterious Fri 14-Sep-18 21:32:44

And why shouldn't they go? Granny23 what has it got to do with being 'a grieving and lonely widow'? Many women have lost the right to pensions at 60 despite working all their lives. They have to wait till 66 or 67 and therefore forfeit their rights to bus passes etc at 60 too but I don't see many complaining on their behalf. Get a grip, it's a tv licence not the right to life saving drugs.

Charleygirl Fri 14-Sep-18 22:07:35

I think that Granny23 meant that the timing was rather out of place. No sympathy was shown it was money, money, money.

absent Sat 15-Sep-18 06:01:36

I think the free TV licence for the over 75s was introduced as a way of giving a little more money to pensioners, like the winter fuel allowance, without increasing the state pension into a taxation bracket.

kittylester Sat 15-Sep-18 07:20:17

The responsibility for funding it has been passed to the BBC now though, absent and they say they can't afford it