Free for all or means tested? What Sunderland said about free TV licences for over-75s

Sunderland families have been having their say on the future of the TV licence.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 7:11 pm
Do you think TV licences for over 75s should be free? Picture: PA.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised plans by the BBC which would see free TV licences for over-75s restricted to only those on pension credit, we asked you to share your views.

More than 3,600 people voted in a poll on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page and, at time of writing, 89% voted that TV licences should be free for all over-75s.

Mr Johnson called on the BBC to "cough up" and fund free TV licences for all over-75s.

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The Tory election manifesto in 2017 pledged to protect free licences – but the broadcaster said it cannot afford to foot the bill.

Changing the benefit would strip millions of pensioners of their free licences.

Some Echo readers called to the licence to be scrapped altogether in favour of a new scheme, while others called for it to be means tested.

Here's what you said on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:

Catherine Elliott: “People's viewing habits have changed, so many channels to choose from now, TV licence should be got rid of for all and new system brought in, maybe pay to view.”

Lynne Mayer: “Make it a pay per view or just scrap it, why do we pay if we don't watch!”

Stu Reynolds: “If you are over 75 and on pension credit then yes, if you don’t receive credits then pay.”

Myrtle Kane: “Free for all. There should be no fee.”

Chris Hall: “Should build TV licence into the price of everything else like Now TV or Sky/Virgin subscriptions.”

Adam Mordey: “If they are in receipt of benefits then yes it should be free.”

Jon Crosby: “I’d rather adverts on BBC and no TV licence.”

Stephen Clinton: “If you've paid up your taxes then you should be entitled to it at retirement.”

Shelly Fox: “I would be happy to pay an extra £2 a month to pay for an elderly person’s licence.”

Susan Suzy Marie Wake: “It should be means tested. Why should people who have millions of pounds get it free?”

Joseph Jozey Wallace: “This should be 100%. Anyone who voted no doesn't understand that they too will be 75 one day.”