The UK’s largest campaigning organisation for older people is calling on its million-plus members to show the government how angry they are at the loss of the free TV licence for over 75’s.
The National Pensioners’ Convention is urging them to ramp up the campaign against the BBC’s decision to axe this vital universal entitlement for our oldest and most vulnerable from 1 August.
The NPC, whose members have previously marched on Parliament in protest at the threatened loss of the licence, aim to get around the Covid-19 lockdown that is keeping many older people still shielding at home by going online.
General Secretary Jan Shortt is today asking them - and their families and supporters - to flood Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Twitter account, Facebook page and mailbox with demands that he intervenes to stop the re-introduction of the licence fee as a matter of urgency.
Jan Shortt said: “I am 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.
“Right now, it is very difficult for the NPC to take the action we would normally do to let the government know our feelings – but we want them to know that we will not stop campaigning until they take back responsibility and accountability for this universal entitlement.”
If the BBC goes ahead and demands payment for the £157.50 licence fee from the millions of over 75’s who are above – some only just – the pension credit level next month, it will be a devastating blow forcing many to choose between cutting down on essentials like food or heating, or being able to continue to watch TV.
Jan Shortt said: “The decision to re-impose the licence fee on over 75’s is an especially tough blow, as it comes on top of older people having to stay safe at home for months during the COVID-19 pandemic.