Commenting on changes to free TV licences for people aged 75 and over coming into effect tomorrow, and the impact this could have on them, Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:

“Tomorrow, millions of older people will wake up almost £160 poorer, or be without access to the world of TV with all its information, company and stimulation.

“This decision comes at a time of great financial uncertainty for households across the country due to COVID-19, and when many people in later life are experiencing increased social isolation and loneliness due to lockdown.

“The decision to link free TV licences to Pension Credit is extremely concerning. We know that two in five of those who are eligible for Pension Credit don’t receive it, meaning that millions of people aged 75 and over not only continue to miss out on vital financial support, but will now also be hit by an extra bill that they can’t afford.

“It shouldn’t have been left to the BBC to make the decision on the future of free TV licences for the over-75s. The government must take action to ensure that some of the poorest and most socially isolated people in our society don’t get further left behind.”

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