Skip to main content

Television Sub-Titling

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will arrange for information about accessory television sub-titling to be sent to pensioners aged 75 years of age who are new recipients of the free television licence. [109653]

[holding answer 28 April 2003]: There are difficulties in using the television licensing system in the way which the hon Member appears to propose. The Television Licences (Disclosure of Information) Act 2000, which provides for the disclosure of social security information to the BBC for the purpose of checking entitlement to the over-75 concession, specifies that this information may be used only in connection with free or reduced-fee licences. Similarly, the assignment of the television licensing database by the Home Office to the BBC in 1991 was subject to the records being used exclusively for administering the television licensing system.However, we believe it is in the service providers' best interests actively to promote the availability of subtitling for people with hearing impairments, and I am sure that OFCOM, the new regulator, will work with the broadcasters and other interested parties to promote more widespread access.