Free for all or means tested? What Hartlepool said about free TV licences for over-75s

Families in Hartlepool have been having their say on the future of the TV licence.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 11:47 am
Do you think TV licences for over 75s should be free? Picture: PA.
Do you think TV licences for over 75s should be free? Picture: PA.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised plans by the BBC which would see free TV licences for over-75s restricted to only those on pension credit, we asked you to share your views.

More than 1,500 people voted in a poll on the Hartlepool Mail Facebook page and, at time of writing, 91% voted that TV licences should be free for all over-75s.

Mr Johnson called on the BBC to "cough up" and fund free TV licences for all over-75s.

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The Tory election manifesto in 2017 pledged to protect free licences – but the broadcaster said it cannot afford to foot the bill.

Changing the benefit would strip millions of pensioners of their free licences.

Some Mail readers called to the licence to be scrapped altogether in favour of a new scheme, while others called for it to be means tested.

Here's what you had to say on the Hartlepool Mail Facebook page:

Adam Hay: “BBC should be a subscription service if they wanna charge to watch it. I don’t watch BBC but have to pay for a licence to watch every other channel.”

Thomas Spresser: “To the 9% who voted no, remember one day you may be be over 75, that time the licence fee could be a lot more.”

Trevor Craddy: “The BBC originated as a public service broadcaster but those days are long past.”

Angela Scott: “We can choose a million channels to view. So why cant we do away and abolish this extortionate licence fee?”

Nikita Snowdon: “Folks in retirement or those who are of an ‘older generation’ (trying to be inclusive) should not be given special dispensation just for being part of this demographic.”

Keith Bell: “Nobody should pay licence fees. The BBC should get with the present and just advertise like everyone else.”

Olwyn James: “Should be means tested like the winter fuel payment.”

Liam Hanson: “I say yes but then it’ll be tax payer expense won’t it?”