By | July 15, 2019



An SNP MP has warned the Tory TV licence cut could cost Scottish pensioners as much as £41.4million a year – as pressure mounts on the UK government to perform a u-turn on its broken manifesto pledge.

Speaking in a Westminster debate, Brendan O’Hara MP said BBC figures revealed there are 356,000 over-75 TV licences in force in Scotland, and just under 88,000 people aged over 75 on pension credit, meaning some 268,000 households could lose out on £154.50 a year if the UK government fails to take responsibility. 

The SNP member of the DCMS committee said the Tories could not pass the buck for their cut and called for the UK government to reverse the scrapping of the free TV licence or send a cheque to Scottish pensioners to make up the difference.

The charity Age Scotland recently recently wrote to Scotland’s 13 Scottish Tory MPs urging them to honour their manifesto commitment to maintain pensioner benefits, including TV licences.

Commenting, Brendan O’Hara MP said:

“The cost of the Tories’ TV licence fee cut to Scots pensioners could be as much as £41.4million – with more than a quarter of a million over-75s set to lose out.

“The pressure on the Tories to reverse this unnecessary cut is now greater than ever, and the SNP will continue to make the case for the UK government to U-turn and fund this vital service for our older people.

“The Tories can try to pass the buck but the blame for this multi-million pound black hole to Scotland’s over-75s lies squarely at the door of the UK government – who passed off this decision to the BBC rather than taking action.

“The UK government must now reconsider their ridiculous decision and commit to funding the licence fee for the over-75s, a group who depend on the television more than most in our communities.

“At a time when the Tories are offering the worst state pension in the developed world, the SNP will not let the Tories off the hook on this broken Tory manifesto commitment. 

“After years of Tory austerity, and the deep financial uncertainty of Brexit, the last thing our older people need is this extra burden on top of their household bills.”

The Westminster Hall debate on E-petitions relating ot the BBC can be viewed here from 16:30 –

SNP hit out at BBC over move to ‘burden’ over-75s with TV licence fee –

Age Scotland urges MP’s to reconsider scrapping free TV licence for OAPs –