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Television Licences

Volume 24: debated on Wednesday 26 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to introduce legislation to extend to disabled people living in disabled people's homes the same concession regarding broadcasting receiving licences as that already given to old people's homes; and if he will make a statement.

We have no plans to do so. I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to his supplementary question on 20 May 1982.—[Vol. 24, c. 461.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the conditions that have to be satisfied for a television licence rebate to be made; when these criteria were introduced; if he is satisfied that they are sufficient; and whether he has any proposals to extend the rebate scheme.

As I indicated in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham)—[Vol. 24, c. 105.]—on 19 May refunds of television licence fees are given only when:

  • (a) an unexpired monochrome licence is surrendered on issue of a colour licence;
  • (b) a new licence is not needed within 28 days of issue or when a renewal licence is not needed within 28 days of the expiry of the previous licence—application for the refund must be made during the period of the validity of the licence;
  • (c) two licences are held but one was obtained in error.
  • Specific legislative provision relating to refunds was included in the Post Office Act 1961, though refunds in the circumstances set out in

    (b) and (c) were given before then. Refunds in the circumstances set out in (a) became available following the introduction of the colour television licence in 1968.

    We consider that the grounds on which refunds may be made must remain strictly limited if the licensing system is not to become unmanageable, and have no plans to change the present arrangement.