The Spending Plan policy 4: abolish free TV licences
Each day we are publishing a blog on one of the policies from our Spending Plan. Click here to read the previous policy.
Currently, those over 75 are eligible for free TV licences which ordinarily cost £145.50. This policy will cost £644 million in 2015–16, rising to £918 million in 2020–21. People over 75 (and over 65) are old enough to decide for themselves how to spend any money that the government decides to give them, so the politicians shouldn’t patronise older people by making spending decisions for them or attaching unnecessary labels to cash payments. Given the scale of the problem with the government’s accounts, taxpayer-funded "free" TV licences are an entitlement that we cannot afford.
If the BBC wishes to continue exempting over 75s from the licence fee, it could be financed from their budget but no increase in the licence fee should be approved.