Brexit deal - labour's laura smith - schools funding

Crewe & Nantwich MP Laura Smith has hit out at the BBC’s plan to scrap the free TV licence for people over 75.

Ms Smith says the proposal would hit up to 5,900 households in her constituency.

The BBC have proposed it to save up to £745 million a year and avoid having to cut channels and radio services for millions.

“The strength of feeling on this issue is unsurprising,” said Laura Smith.

“Crewe & Nantwich will be hit particularly badly by this, with up to 5,900 households that could lose this important benefit.

“Free TV licences are an important tool in the battle against loneliness and social isolation and I have spoken in the House of Commons about my concerns.

“The Conservatives promised to protect this benefit at the last election, despite having set the stage for scrapping it back in 2015.

“This is yet another broken promise by a government that is treating our older citizens as though they are a burden.

“How many more benefits can we expect to see outsourced as this government continues to shirk its responsibilities to our pensioners?”

BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said it had been a “very difficult decision” but this was the “the fairest and best outcome”.

But Tom Watson Deputy, Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Culture Secretary, said: “It is an outrage that this Government is overseeing the scrapping of free TV licences for three million older people, leaving a Tory manifesto promise in tatters.

“In the same week that Boris Johnson has championed tax cuts for the rich, this Conservative Government has delivered yet another ruthless welfare cut to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“I challenge all Tory leadership candidates to honour the commitment they made in 2017. You cannot means test for social isolation.

“You cannot means test for loneliness. Millions of elderly and isolated people will lose because of this announcement – Labour will fight it with everything we’ve got.”

2 Comments

  1. I can afford to pay for a TV licence, so why should I expect the government to pay it for me? Government money is better spent where it’s really needed.

  2. Bob Bobson says:

    Labour introduced this bribe in 2001, it never made sense — why not increase the state pension by £155 a year instead? It was inevitable.

    To fund this political bribe would mean the BBC would have to find £745m. That means shutting down Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio 5, Local Radio, Radio Scotland, Wales, Ulster, CBBC and CBeebies, and still finding another £24m.

    I wonder how many of those 5,900 households (who don’t get pension credit) buy a daily newspaper (£260 a year). I wonder how many have Sky TV (£324 a year).

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