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Television Licences (Deaf Persons)

Volume 728: debated on Wednesday 18 May 1966

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asked the Postmaster-General whether he will introduce legislation to enable deaf persons to obtain television licences at a reduced fee.

I have considered with great sympathy the possibility of introducing concessions of one kind or another for various groups, including the deaf. But I have been forced to conclude that it would be impracticable to do so without creating serious anomalies.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that watching the picture without the benefit of sound somewhat reduces the value of television? [Interruption.] Since this has always applied to the deaf and is a rather serious matter, will my right hon. Friend reconsider his decision?

I have considered this very carefully. The difficulty is that it creates very large anomalies in the case of families living together, and deaf people without television would not benefit as a result of concessions given to others. There are other categories who are really deserving of special care. We have introduced a savings card to help and I am afraid that that is all I can do.