Keeping the free TV licence.

#SwitchedOff: why we’re campaigning to save free TV for older people

It’s not just ‘the box in the corner.’

When mobility issues mean you struggle to get out and about, it helps you stay connected. When money is a constant worry, it’s your way to escape. And when you spend your days alone, it gives you something to rely on, something to look forward to. For over a million of the oldest people in our society, TV is their main form of company. It’s their window on the world, and a human voice when they’ve not spoken to another person in days.

TV is a lifeline. And right now, it’s under threat.

In 2015, the Government quietly pushed the job of providing free TV licences to the BBC – without giving them the funding to do the job properly, or asking us, the public, whether this was right.
Now the BBC is considering removing the right to free TV licences for the over 75s. If this is allowed to happen, it’s the most vulnerable people in our society who’ll suffer.

Who loses out if free TV licences are scrapped?

It’s a common misconception that all older people are comfortably off these days. In fact nearly a fifth of over 75s are living in poverty. For them, paying a hefty extra bill would simply be impossible when they’re barely scraping by as it is.

Added to this, half of over 75s are living with a disability. Many of them rely on their TV for companionship and entertainment. And for those who don’t have the internet – a considerable proportion of the oldest in our society – TV enables them stay up to date with what’s happening in the world.

Removing access to free TV for the over 75s would be a cruel blow to those who need it most, when they’re already facing such huge challenges.

Sign the petition to save free TV

It’s the Government’s responsibility to look after vulnerable older people, not the BBC’s. They quietly pushed the job of providing free TV licences to the BBC without giving them the funding to do the job properly, or asking us, the public, whether this was right. But now we do have a say. And we can make a difference.

Keeping TV free is a simple but vital way to look after vulnerable older people.  That’s why Age UK London is petitioning the Government to take back responsibility for providing free TV licences for over 75s. We need as many signatures as possible to make our case and show how important this issue is.

Add your name today by clicking here.

Because it’s not just a licence. It’s a lifeline.

Age UK London

Age UK London is the new name for Age Concern London. We act as the collective voice of London's Age UKs and Age Concerns, working to improve the quality of life and enhance the status and influence of older people in the capital.

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