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, 06:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 10:47 am
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.

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

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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?”