‘Criminalising the elderly' GB News host slams BBC over TV Licence fee hike

In July, the broadcaster confirmed that it would be ending its licence fee grace period for over-75s by the end of that month. Pensioners in this age demographic were given a free TV Licence up until August 2020, however those still claiming Pension Credit were allowed to keep receiving it. Early this year, the BBC announced a transition period for those who will no longer be eligible for the free TV Licence.

“The BBC has ended its licence fee grace period now for the over 75s so they now have to pay to have a bit of company in their own homes.

“In fact, if they don’t pay, the BBC can essentially send the boys round for a ‘customer care visit’ to politely inform them that if they don’t stump up the cash, they’ll get £1,000 fine or maybe even go to court.

“I would gently suggest that criminalising the elderly is not a good look for the Beeb.”

Mr Christys’ criticism of the broadcaster comes as the Government has rebuked reports that it will agree with the BBC’s call to raise the licence fee alongside the rate of inflation.

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According to The Times, Government ministers are hesitant to hike the price of Britons’ TV Licences as it would coincide with other utility bill increases, such as winter fuel price hike.

In a statement, a Number 10 spokesperson said: “We haven’t set out our proposals for the licence fee at this point.

“The next settlement covers the next five years from April 2022. No decisions have been made and we’d announce a decision to Parliament in due course.”

Referencing the spending costs of the BBC, Mr Christys addressed the personal impact the TV Licence has had for many pensioners during the pandemic in particular.“You need a licence to watch and record any live output on any channel but you can watch on-demand services without one,” he explained.

“You need a Licence to watch and record any live output on any channel but you can watch on-demand services without one,” he explained.

“Many of them simply do not have a spare £159 lying around. They used to get the TV Licence for free, but now that’s changed.

“So pay up or else. Just remember, the next time the BBC does a hard-hitting, gritty documentary on the plight of the elderly and pretends to care about their well-being, the BBC is an incredibly well-staffed organisation with state of the art offices, equipment and high presenter salaries.”

Anyone struggling to pay their TV Licence fee or who is concerned about the price hike should visit the tvlicensing.co.uk website.

In June, the BBC addressed changes to the TV Licence fee for over 75s. In a statement, the organisation stated: “We are enormously grateful for the high level of support that over-75s customers have shown for the licence fee.

“Latest figures show more than nine in 10 over-75s households have now made arrangements for a free or paid licence, or updated us on changes in their circumstances. This is in line with the broader UK population – the overwhelming majority pay the licence fee and enjoy the great programmes and services the BBC provides on TV, radio and online.

“As we have now reached a situation where over-75s households are in line with the general population, the extended transition period we put in place due to Covid-19 will end on 31 July 2021. And in line with general policy, anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, must be covered by a valid TV licence.”

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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