(2) what advice is being given to people by TV Licensing about (a) the withdrawal of television licence stamps and (b) arrangements for their replacement.
The BBC, as television licensing authority, has responsibility for the administration of the licensing system. TV Licensing operates under contract to the corporation. I have therefore asked the BBC’s Head of Revenue Management to reply. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The BBC, as television licensing authority, is replacing television licence savings stamps with a new, card-based savings scheme. This scheme offers similar ease of use to stamps and important advantages, including added security for savers, (with a central record of their credit balances). Savings stamps can be used to purchase a TV licence at a post office until 31 July this year, after which they will be redeemable for cash from TV Licensing, without limit of time.
TV Licensing, which administer (as agents for the BBC) free television licences for people aged 75 or over are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, according to the Department for Work and Pensions records the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over claiming the winter fuel payment in 2004-05 in the Brentford and Isleworth constituency was 4,865.