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Opinion: Scrapping free TV licence is a financial burden on the elderly

PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 June 2019

Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali, MP says scrapping the free TV licence from the over 75s is austerity by stealth.

Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali, MP says scrapping the free TV licence from the over 75s is austerity by stealth.

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Many people in east London are shocked and outraged on hearing that the free TV licence for over-75s is being scrapped.

Shocked - because the Conservative manifesto contained the rock-solid promise: 'We will maintain all other pensioner benefits, including free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences.'

Outraged - because scrapping the licence places an extra financial burden on thousands of elderly people who rely on TV as a link to the outside world, and as an antidote to loneliness.

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Ministers have passed the buck to the BBC, whilst denying it the money it needs.

This is austerity by stealth, and poor people around here will pay the price.

The BBC is a world-class institution and we should defend it.

A future Labour Government should give everyone over-75 a free TV licence, and ensure the BBC has the funds it needs to carry on bringing news and entertainment to millions of people.

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