Western Isles MSP calls on conservatives not to break manifesto pledge on TV licence fee

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan.
Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan.

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has called on the UK Government to abandon its plans to abolish free TV licences for over 75s.

The Islands MSP called for the Conservatives to keep to their manifesto pledge, and fund the BBC to make sure that this benefit remains feasible.

The BBC have launched a consultation on this matter, which will run until February 2019.

There are over 447,900 individuals in Scotland over the age of 75. Over 3000 live in the Western Isles – each saving £150.50 a year under the present system.

Alasdair Allan said: “After years of Tory austerity, and the deep financial uncertainty that Brexit is causing, the last thing that our elderly population need is to have an extra £150.50 added to their household bills.

“With the BBC consulting on the Over 75s free TV Licence, considering whether it should be watered down, or scrapped all together, the benefits that this policy brings to older people must be taken into consideration.

“On page 68 of Theresa May’s 2017 manifesto, there is a clear commitment to maintain the free TV licences for our elderly population. The Conservative Government must ensure that this pledge is not broken, and provide adequate funding to the BBC to allow this to continue.

“Our older generation must always be treated with dignity and respect. Over 3000 of my constituents are over the age of 75, and thus eligible for this benefit. Having access to television can provide an important window to the world, for those who suffer from loneliness, and live a long way away from their families.

“The UK Government need to explain why they are breaking their promises on this, and move now to ensure that our elderly population do not suffer from this ill-thought out proposal.”