June 10th 2019
Following the BBC’s announcement today that it will fund free TV licences for those aged 75 and over if they are in receipt of Pension Credit the VLV has issued the following statement:
The VLV’s clear view is that the cost of providing free licences for the over 75’s, and the policy behind the concession, should be matters for government.
However, if the BBC is to meet the cost of a concession, the favoured option of those who responded to a VLV survey was that the concession should be linked to those who need it most, such as those in receipt of Pension Credit.
Colin Browne, Chairman of VLV, said, ‘We are very concerned that even this strategy will mean an additional substantial reduction in the BBC’s funding and therefore the quality and range of programmes to be provided for UK citizens who fund the BBC, against the background of a 24% cut in real terms since 2010.’
We welcome the BBC’s comments about the need for more transparency in the process of negotiating BBC funding in future. As the BBC Statement highlights, VLV has proposed the establishment of a Licence Fee Commission which would enable proper debate and a range of stakeholder views to be considered.
You can read VLV’s submission to the BBC on this issue by downloading the pdf below.