By Anna Ellis • 23 June 2022 • 17:20
UK TV LICENCE: Low-income pensioners to get easier access to free TV licences. CC/Nenad Stojkovic
Pensioners on low incomes will find it easier and quicker to apply for or renew their free TV licence under reforms laid in Parliament today.
The legislative change will ease the administrative burden put on eligible over-75s when applying for a free licence. As it stands those affected are required to obtain and share documentation with the BBC to prove they are in receipt of Pension Credit.
As the global cost of living continues to rise due to the economic impact of the pandemic and war in Ukraine, this measure will support eligible pensioners struggling to keep on top of their bills to claim the £159 (€185) annual savings more quickly and with less hassle.
Under the new plans, the BBC will be able to verify automatically whether a person applying for a free TV Licence is on Pension Credit with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It will mean in most cases the 7,000 people who apply to TV Licensing for a free licence per month will simply need to apply online or over the phone without any need to supply additional paperwork.
In 2020 the BBC stopped providing free TV licences for all over-75s, but those in receipt of Pension Credit – a benefit which provides extra money for people on the state pension and on a low income – are still eligible.
Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “The BBC’s disappointing decision to stop providing free TV licences for all over-75s has left low-income pensioners who remain eligible jumping through administrative hoops to avoid paying the charge.”
“The changes mean those receiving Pension Credit will get the savings with minimum fuss, ensuring more people get the support they are entitled to as we tackle the cost of living and grow the economy.”
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Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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