South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that over 9,000 pensioner households in Dumfries and Galloway will loose their free TV license.
The BBC have announced that from June 2020 only households with a pensioner over the 75 who are eligible for pension credit will receive a free TV license. As a result, 9,200 pensioner households across Dumfries and Galloway will loose their free TV license next year.
In February this year, Colin Smyth MSP said that Alistair Jack and David Mundell should stand by their manifesto commitment of protecting free TV licenses for over 75s.
Free TV licences are an important benefit for older people who suffer disproportionately from loneliness and social isolation. The Campaign to End Loneliness found that 40% of older people say their television is their main source of company.
Colin Smyth said, “Scrapping free TV licenses for the over 75s will see over 9,000 pensioner households in Dumfries and Galloway being worse off. With too many of our older residents on the brink of poverty, the prospect of older people having to cut back on heating and food to keep their TV should leave local Conservative MPs Alistair Jack and David Mundell thoroughly ashamed.
Despite the Conservatives manifesto commitment to protect free TV licenses for over 75s neither Alistair Jack nor David Mundell have spoken out in favour of free TV licenses since February when I warned that the free TV licence was under threat.”