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A Call to Arms

The NPC is sending out a Call To Arms over the cruel decision to axe the over 75s TV licence from 1st August.

Jan Shortt, NPC General Secretary has written a letter to NPC affiliates detailing the steps they can take to show how angry they are at having the most vulnerable section of our society betrayed by the current government.

The letter from Jan can be found in full below and in word format here

Accompanying the letter is a templated letter for you to write to the Prime Minister here

Further information on TV Licensing can be found here

The recent response from Sir David Clementi Chair of the BBC Board can be found here

In addition the recent interview done by Jan Shortt on Talk Radio can be found in mp3 format here

More information about the TV licence campaign and the NPC is  available on 'In The News' section The Call to Arms letter from Jan Shortt can be found below Dear Member, Re: Free TV Licences for over 75s Most of you will know that the BBC has decided to implement their decision to restrict free TV licences for over 75s to those on pension credit on 1 August 2020.  This is devastating for the 3.7 million pensioners, many of whom are just above pension credit limit, who now have to find the extra financial resources to buy a TV licence.  For millions this will inevitably mean making a choice to cut down on other essentials in order to be able to still watch TV. Over the last 3-4 months, it has been very difficult for everyone in the older generation having to stay at home and be safe from COVID-19.  We are still not venturing out too far and transport systems are not running as normal.  It is therefore very difficult for the NPC to take the action we would normally do to let the government know that we will not stop campaigning until they take back responsibility and accountability for this universal entitlement and reinstate free TV licences for all over 75s. The NPC is still the largest campaigning organisation for older people in the UK and I am now calling on everyone to make a supreme effort between now and 31 July to show how angry we are at having the most vulnerable section of our society betrayed by the current government. Why is this so important?  Back in April 2019, Lord True and his committee published a report ‘Tackling Intergenerational Fairness’ in which it was quite clear that other universal entitlements such as the winter fuel allowance and the bus pass could be subject to change. There has also been a resurgence of calls for the Chancellor to look at the Triple Lock as a way of older people paying for the downturn in the economy. The free TV licence may well be just the tip of the iceberg. Our campaign has to be run differently now and everybody can get involved in the following ways:

  • If you have a Twitter account, then we ask you to send this message to the Prime Minister:

@BorisJohnson promised no one over75 would pay for a #TVlicence and you would sort it. Stop blaming the #BBC. 3.7 million over 75s will now have to choose to pay to watch TV or cut down on essentials like food & fuel or lose a source of info & company #BorisPromised #SwitchedOff If you have a personal message you wish to send instead, please do so. There is a restriction on the number of words. The Prime Minister is also on Facebook – no word restrictions on this platform. Please send to everyone you know on Twitter/Facebook – family, friends, Trade Union, other organisations and ask them to re-tweet, so the Prime Minister is in no doubt as to the strength of feeling from pensioners and their supporters.

  • We have provided a template letter that you can send to the Prime Minister if you are on email to:

  • or by post to the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, MP, 10 Downing Street, Westminster, London, SW1A 2AA. Feel free to write your own including what your TV means to you.

  • If you are a member of a Trade Union, the TUC is backing our call for reinstatement of the free TV licence to all over 75s. Please contact your Trade Union and ask that they encourage every one of their members to message the Prime Minister.

  • Age UK have a petition which we urge you all to sign at:


  • The 31 July is a key date in the culmination of our campaign and we will let you know what is planned for that day

In the meantime, any local press coverage you are able to get is extremely good. We would really appreciate you letting us know when you have Tweeted or Facebooked the Prime Minister, emailed or posted him a letter. As your General Secretary, I am always impressed by the commitment you give to the NPC, your different ways of engaging with people and your willingness to support us.  I want to thank you all for what you do and in anticipation that you will answer my call to make this huge effort on behalf of every person over 75 who deserves much better from this government. My very best wishes Jan Shortt General Secretary


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