BBC ‘playing cruel mind games’ with ‘broken promise’ on licence fee

BBC 'in a death spiral' over TV licence says host

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The corporation effectively gave an amnesty earlier this year to over-75s refusing to pay the £159 annual fee. But pensioners are now being sent bills stating, “Your TV Licence has been cancelled”, and warning them “you are no longer licensed to watch or record programmes”. 

Hundreds of thousands of older viewers stripped of their free licence last August are still refusing to pay.

Campaign group Silver Voices said the move is an attempt to isolate and intimidate older people into paying, even if they cannot afford it.

Director Dennis Reed said: “Having said people have plenty of time to pay, TV Licensing is now cancelling the free licences to which over-75s were entitled. This breaks the promise
the BBC made that those who previously held free licences would remain legally covered until payment arrangements were agreed.

“Threatening, soothing and then threatening again amounts to psychological warfare against our older generations. It is cruel and unforgivable.”

BBC bosses axed the free licence last summer and will rake in £400million from the over-75s. Around 4.2 million were hit by the rule change, with just 770,000 of those who claim pension credit exempt from paying.

A TV Licensing spokesman said: “Older people yet to make arrangements are still legally covered. When customers who have set up a licence on the 75+ Plan miss a payment the cost is spread over the remainder of the plan. When payments are consistently missed eventually they will become unlicensed. We write to make customers aware of how they can rejoin.”

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