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BBC and free licence for over 75s

(32 Posts)
trisher Mon 06-Jul-15 23:11:43

Is it right that the BBC should be made responsible for a social policy like free TV licences for over 75s? And if they are to be made responsible shouldn't the public have been asked for their comments before things were changed.

Alea Mon 06-Jul-15 23:25:42

What a concession for the old dears. Be still my beating heart! I can scarcely contain my enthusiasm, but presumably they will have abolished the free licence by the time I reach 75.

petallus Tue 07-Jul-15 07:45:11

Alea DH is one of the old dears and I soon will be grin

You must be one of our junior members!

kittylester Tue 07-Jul-15 08:43:41

It is one of the ridiculous benefits that go to every older person regardless of their ability to pay! Dental treatment is only free, for older patients, if they get one form of pension credit and I don't understand why that system couldn't be used for all the other benefits available across the board.

As the BBC have no say in who gets the benefit, it seems wrong that they have to bear the responsibility for it.

rosesarered Tue 07-Jul-15 09:24:51

I know quite a few people Kitty, that are very glad they no longer have to pay the fee, I think that the admin needed to means test would cost too much, and some people would fail the means testing but still not have much money living on a reduced private pension etc.
the BBC say they are happy to do this, because they will now charge for other services.

Anniebach Tue 07-Jul-15 09:28:47

The BBC are not paying for this, the licence payers are

POGS Tue 07-Jul-15 09:33:35

Tony Hall was on Andrew Marr show recently, I can't remember if the funding for the over 75's was mentioned but he didn't give the impression he thought John Whittingdale was a fool. If your interested in the BBC and listening to Tony Hall it's on I player (that's irony for you) grin

Lilygran Tue 07-Jul-15 09:46:10

You don't need a licence if you only watch catch-up and DVDs. How do you prove this? You do need a licence if you have a device capable of watching live programmes. If you haven't, how do you watch catch-up? DH and I had one of our usual heated arguments lively conversations about this yesterday but since both of us are technologically ignorant we didn't get anywhere.

Alea Tue 07-Jul-15 09:48:23

Sorry petallus the "old dears" was entirely ironic! [tongue in cheek] emoticon
I may not quite qualify, and from what I have read this morning it may have gone by the time I do sad

Teetime Tue 07-Jul-15 09:54:12

We wrote to William Hague when he was our MP and gave him several scenarios about the winter Fuel allowance pertaining to the housing complex where MIL lives which is a fairly typical one. Heating is included in the rent and service charges which are already catered for for all the residents (its a housing association) through various welfare benefits and state pensions. The whole place is boiling hot all year and the windows are thrown open wide. All the residents get the Winter Fuel allowance and almost all are over 85. We asked WH if this isn't a waste of resources and his reply was that it was too expensive to means test. Same thing with the TV licence. I play golf with older people who have oodles of money and regularly boast of their extras i.e. Winter Fuel allowance and TV licence they are also delighted when they cheat the taxpayer by early money on the side from various little 'business' ventures. They are too a man/woman Tory voters.

kittylester Tue 07-Jul-15 10:14:59

The thing is that there would not need to be means testing at all. That has already been done to decide which pensioners are entitled to Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (or some such unwieldy title!). Other benefits could be included such as DLA (as it currently called) or Pension Credit Savings Credit. All the age related benefits could be treated the same way. It always struck me as odd that Mum got WFP and didn't have to pay more for the heating in her Residential Home.

We get all the extra age benefits and could manage well enough without them. I am, btw, a Tory voter!

As far as the licence fee goes, I would happily pay twice as much to maintain a 'free' to view BBC!

rosesarered Tue 07-Jul-15 10:22:47

There are many pensioners that do not fall into the poor bracket for benefits but still do not have much money for extras, this will help them if they can use the money for other bills.

Ana Tue 07-Jul-15 10:42:38

They would have got their tv licence paid for anyway, roses, it's just that now the BBC has to provide it.

Nonnie Tue 07-Jul-15 11:19:51

It was part of a bigger deal which the BBC said they were happy with.

My feeling is why do they think that anyone over the age of 75 sits in front of the TV all day?hmm

That old thing about the WFA has come up again but it is a red herring. It was originally introduced instead of increasing the pension so isn't really a WFA. Presumably they cannot now add it to the basic pension as it would be index-linked and cost more. Maybe they should and it would then be taxable?

POGS Tue 07-Jul-15 11:22:28

You don't automatically get a free TV licence because you are on some benefits.

For example DLA is not an automatic gateway to having a free TV licence.

I agree with Kitty except for the inclusion of everybody on welfare benefits as there is as much disparity with welfare claimants as those not on benefits regarding personal wealth as discussed on another thread.

If welfare benefits were taxed in the same way as every other person ' annual income taxed', there could be more money for those pensioners and welfare claimants who are worse off.

Said a conservative.

Anniebach Tue 07-Jul-15 11:30:42

People on benefits don't receive free tv licences , one exception are the disabled and then it depends on their accommodation

Ana Tue 07-Jul-15 11:31:47

They do if they're over 75.

Ana Tue 07-Jul-15 11:32:51

Which is what the OP's about.

Anniebach Tue 07-Jul-15 11:33:00

Yes Ana, I was referring to benefit claimants in general

kittylester Tue 07-Jul-15 13:30:58

Nonnie, I was just going to make that point as most 75 year olds I know are out doing stuff. Linking it to some benefits would mean that the people who actually had little option but to watch a lot of TV, could get it free.

Means testing is a red herring as far as free prescriptions, WFA are concerned because most people who might be eligible have already been means tested. AgeUk did a brilliant job of making people aware of, and helping them to claim, AA and then referring the most likely candidates on for assessment for Pension Credit.

What I don't understand is why we keep being told that it would be impossible to administer when it would save (presumably) millions. confused

rosesarered Tue 07-Jul-15 13:41:30

What about people 75 and over Kitty that really appreciate the Lic. Fee being paid,people like my neighbour aged 79 and living on half a teachers pension since her DH died.She isn't due any benefits other than WHA and free prescriptions and her state pension, like most of us have.I am pleased that the BBC will be paying for this.there must be many more people like her that really appreciate this being paid.

trisher Tue 07-Jul-15 14:06:07

I suspect that this may be a clever way of 'passing the buck'. The cost of the free licences is bound to increase as the population ages. If it becomes too expensive the BBC (Not the Government!) will scrap it. The government manages to keep its nose clean and with that keeps the pensioners' vote

Ana Tue 07-Jul-15 14:10:15

I don't think so.

People would expect the government (whatever colour it may be at the time) to step in and pay the fees. It would be a vote-loser if they didn't.

Anniebach Tue 07-Jul-15 14:54:00

The BBC will cover the cost by charging students who view on their computers etc, those on the BBC gravy train will not be affected

kittylester Tue 07-Jul-15 16:15:22

Roses, has you neighbour looked into attendance allowance and pension credit? She can ring AgeUk for advice.

I can see that there would be anomalies but it is ridiculous that we, and people like us get all of these things when we could manage without it.