Updated: Sep 3
The NPC is continuing to campaign against the cruel decision to end the free TV licence for all over 75's from the 1st August.
This mailout includes the NPC press release for our plans to hold a 'safe and socially distanced' protest, a guide for you to send us a TV licence protest photo or video and some posters and flyers.
National Pensioners’ Convention members are organising a week of protests across the country in a last ditch bid to stop the axing of free TV licences for all over 75’s.
The climax will be a ‘safe and socially distanced’ protest by NPC members outside 10 Downing Street next Thursday morning, 30th July 2020.
The UK’s largest campaigning organisation, run for and by older people, wants the Government to stop the BBC imposing the £157.50 licence fee on our oldest and most vulnerable before next week’s 1st August deadline.
Normally the NPC’s million plus members would take to the streets for a march on Parliament to protest the loss of the free licence - a vital universal benefit – as well as a return to means-testing to determine who might still claim it.
They aim to get around the dangers to older people of gathering outside during the pandemic through ‘static’ socially distanced protests, including one outside 10 Downing Street on 30th July.
The NPC will also continue to push its social media campaign encouraging supporters to retweet the NPC’s message on its Twitter page to the Prime Minister. NPC members who are unable to go out because they are still shielding are asked to send pictures and videos of their own home-based protests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC said:“The free TV licence for all over 75’s is a universal entitlement that provides a window on the world for so many of older people who, particularly at the moment, rely on it for information and company.
“We are disappointed that the Government has not stepped in to stop the BBC re-imposing the licence fee on our oldest, who can’t afford it because they are struggling to make ends meet on the basic state pension as it is. To impose means testing on them to determine if they should receive the free licence or not is simply wrong in a wealthy country like ours in the 21st century.
“That is why the fittest and healthiest of our older members are planning to don their masks and gloves - and put sanitiser in their pockets - to join a static, and socially distanced demonstration, outside Downing Street. Where possible, members will also protest outside BBC offices up and down the country.
“Older people feel angered that the Prime Minister who promised last November that it was ‘crucial’ to save the free licence for all over 75’s has failed to keep his promise.
“We also want to ask members of the public who have supported our campaign to let the Prime Minister know how angry people are, by tweeting and posting pictures and videos on his social media in a last minute bid to stop this miscarriage of justice.”
The NPC lays the blame for this ‘draconian’ measure to axe the free licence squarely at the door of the government. It is a cruel decision for the government to force the BBC to take, particularly while a great many over 75s are still self-isolating and afraid to go out because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This age group relies on their TV for the latest information on the easing of lockdown and shielding.
The majority of over 75s are not online - so forcing them to switch off unless they pay for a licence is depriving them of their only means of obtaining key messages and, for many, their only companionship. This may well have a profound impact on their health and well-being in general, particularly if, as predicted, the coronavirus spikes again this winter.
Over 75s will now have to choose between switching off permanently or finding the money for the licence to stay switched on - which could leave many having to decide between their TV or eating and heating. It is a choice that they should never have to make in the 21st century.
NPC ADVICE AND SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR YOUR TV LICENCE PROTEST PICTURE OR VIDEO!
If you would like to support the NPC campaign to save the free TV licence for over 75’s, why not take a picture or a video to send to Boris? Perhaps ask your family or a friend to take the picture and email it to us at email@example.com We have attached a sample TV licence which can be found here You can view a sample video to give you an idea what to do here (7.8MB) Once we have your pics and videos we can post them on the Prime Minister’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Or you can do this yourself if you know how to! Don't forget if you are sending a video yourself to add the hashtags #TVlicence #BBC #BorisPromised #SwitchedOff #NPCuk Here’s how to take your picture or shoot your protest video: WHAT YOU ARE DOING – You are going to take a picture or film a camera phone video of you and/or your family or friends together, tearing up a mocked-up copy of a TV licence, which is attached to this email. FRAMING - When taking the video, it is important to make sure your face is in the centre of the frame of the photo or video, and that you have light or sunlight on your face (to avoid shadows!). Try and ensure you have the mock TV licence in the frame too (see sample picture). SCRIPT - In the video, you might want to say something like: “I/we am/are angry at the loss of the free TV licence for all over 75’s! Stop this injustice now Prime Minister! Otherwise here is what I/we will be doing!!” Then, tear up your licence on the video! Press the stop button as soon as you are done. Send your picture or your video to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Remember, you can get your family – children or grandchildren, or friends - to take the video or picture and send it in to us.
For flyers and posters go to