BBC is slated to go through a plan to terminate free TV licenses for more than 75 years, after a two-month delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
This means that over three million families will be required to start paying a fee of £ 157.50 starting August 1.
Only those receiving a pension credit benefit will be exempt.
The BBC said the new scheme was “the most equitable decision”, but the government said it was a “wrong decision” and Age UK called it “a blow to the teeth”.
Why did he make this decision?
The controversial change was originally scheduled for June 1, and the BBC said the delay cost £ 35m per month.
The cost of continuing to offer free licenses to all over 75 years of age can reach one billion pounds a year over time as the population ages, according to the company.
- Do I need a TV license and what does it pay for?
The BBC’s chief, Sir David Clemente, said the decision was “not easy”, but the broadcaster was subject to “severe financial pressure” and that any additional delay would affect the programs.
- BBC delays more than 75 changes to TV license fees
The BBC had previously warned that failure to make any changes would have resulted in an “unprecedented closure” of services.
It also previously said it should make an additional savings of 125 million pounds this year as a result of the epidemic, including the cost of delaying changes in excess of 75 years.
Free TV licenses have been provided for more than 75 years by the government since 2000, but responsibility for this provision has been transferred to the BBC as part of a recent license fee settlement.
What was the reaction?
Age UK Charity said it was “bitterly disappointed,” describing the move as “a dental kick for millions of people over 75 years of age who had a great time during this crisis.”
More than 630,000 people signed the Age Petition in the United Kingdom when the BBC first announced the plan in 2019. The charity now urged the BBC and the government to “sit urgently and agree to a solution to keep TV licenses free”.
Caroline Abrahams, director of charity in the UK, said that many elderly people are either forced to abandon their television, which is “a lifeline more than ever”, or other basic purchases.
She said: “Everyone needs to understand that under the BBC plan, hundreds of thousands of the poorest pensioners will face a bill that they simply won’t be able to pay.”
A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the BBC had made the “wrong decision”, and the government believed that the license fees in question “should be funded by the BBC.”
Culture Minister Matt Warman said the move was “very disappointing.”
But Labor Party’s shadow culture minister, Joe Stevens, said: “The government’s refusal to fund this vital service after the promise to do so is nothing less than betrayal.
“He spent more than 75 years at home with the television providing an invaluable source for the company during the epidemic. Blaming the BBC for having to face massive cuts is simply bypassing responsibility.”
Representative Julian Knight, the Conservative Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, described the situation as a “mess” and said the new system would be “a physical blow to millions of British retirees.”
Knight added that many people over the age of 75 will find it difficult to pay because they are not connected to the Internet and may not be able to leave their homes.
Radio and Labor deputy, Ms. Joanne Bakewell, said that some elderly people can and must pay – but there is “amid suffering” that will struggle.
“The big rich have a lot of savings and investments, and they can afford it,” she told BBC Radio 5 Live.
But she added, “You won’t get enough for free. There are layers of people above the earning [level] Who gives you the benefit that should also be allowed to get free license fees … It’s in the midst of suffering who may find life expensive but not limited to the need for state benefits.
She added that she had hoped that the next general manager, Tim Davy, would be able to bring “some original thinking” to find a better solution.
How does the new system work?
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said that there would be a “secure insurance” payment system, which meant that people could submit applications online, and that there would be a dedicated phone line and support staff.
“No one needs to take any immediate action or leave his home to demand a free TV license or pay one price,” a statement said.
She added that the TV license will be written for all license holders over the age of 75 with clear instructions on how to pay.
According to nearly 1.6 million people claiming a pension balance Latest government figures. Of these, 450,000 people have already applied for a free license.
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