Letter - license fee for people aged 75 and over by Conservative MPs

Dear Lord Hall of Birkenhead


We are writing to express our disappointment at the BBC’s decision to scrap free TV licenses for most people over the age of 75 from 1st August 2020 and urge you to reconsider this decision.

When millions of elderly Britons have been asked to stay at home during the COVID-19 global crisis, the timing of this announcement could not have been worse. Frankly, it is a kick in the teeth for millions of over-75s who have had a torrid time in lockdown.

We welcome the BBC’s commitment to protecting the people who would find it most difficult to pay by continuing to cover the licences of those eligible for Pension Credit. However, this is not good enough and the cost of this proposed scheme is considerably less than you have been contributing already to free TV licences for the over 75s.

The BBC’s annual income is £5 billion. Why, then, is this announcement necessary? Instead of choosing to save money on the back of pensioners, if you are looking to make
savings, may we recommend instead the £100 million allocated on ‘diversity’ over the next three years as well as the department responsible for No Country for Young Women’s
podcast about “Karens”. Reducing the excessive salaries of your highest-paid stars and executives would also provide ample financial respite.

The fact that you have prioritised pensioners to take the brunt of your cost savings shows how detached you have become from your viewers.

Now is not the time to scrap free TV licenses for over-75s. Please do reconsider. We would welcome to chance to discuss this with you in person.

Yours Sincerely