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Over 75s free TV licences

Volume 670: debated on Tuesday 28 January 2020

Britain has one of the worst state pensions in Europe, with pensioners being paid a pittance compared with their peers elsewhere on the continent. Of course, due to the injustice perpetrated against the WASPI women, many female pensioners have been denied their state pension until much later. To add insult to injury, the Tories’ Centre for Social Justice think-tank has suggested that the retirement age should be increased to 75, which is just outrageous.

The latest Westminster assault on pensioners is the proposal to axe the free TV licence for our constituents who are over the age of 75. The Scottish National party will fight that every step of the way, so I rise to present a petition from many of my constituents in Mount Vernon, Sandyhills and Carntyne, to name just a few areas.

The petition states:

The petition of the residents of Glasgow East,

Declares that free TV licences to households with someone aged over 75 should remain for the foreseeable future; notes that this scheme should remain in governmental hands rather than being privatised by the BBC; further that the removal of the free TV licences will have a negative impact on some of the poorest pensioners in the constituency and across the country; further notes that one of BBC’s proposals in the consultation is means-testing the concession by linking the free licences to Pension Credit; further that the Department for Work and Pensions own estimates show that nationally 40% (two in five) of those entitled to receive Pension Credit are not in receipt of the benefit and would be excluded; further that access to media, especially if frail or housebound, can reduce loneliness in old age and improve well-being.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reverse the planned decision to end the funding of the free TV licence to households with someone aged over 75 and privatisation of this to the BBC.

And the petitioners remain, etc.