GMB calls for Government to retain the free colour TV licence for the over 75’s

Draft motion for Trades Union branches, District Trades Councils and Labour Party Branches of Torbay and South Devon, held at Acorn Centre Lummaton Cross Torquay..


  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of Last Meeting-None taken at September Meeting.
  3. .Guest Speaker-Kevin Dixon Chairman of Health watch Torbay
  4. Election of Treasurer and Diversity Officer Report.
  5. Tolpuddle Coach and Financing 2019
  6. Trades Council Conference Reports.
  7. Union Branch and Community Reps Updates.
  8. Correspondence-Will be circulated start of Meeting.
  9. Motions- Unite Community Free TV Licences for Over 75s
  10. A.O.B.

“This branch/association calls upon the Government to retain the free colour TV licence for the over 75’s which is under threat in 2020. This is especially important following the recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report that says one in 6 pensioners are living in poverty and pensioner poverty is rising. We further urge all our members to write to their M.P. calling on them to oppose measures to remove this benefit for the over 75’s.”

Background Information

Currently people aged over 75 enjoy fee-free viewing and use of BBC television and online services such as iPlayer, saving £150.50 each year for a colour TV licence. However, in 2015 the government decided to shift the financial burden of this concession from Treasury coffers to the BBC. This change is set to take effect in 2020. Now, a report by Frontier Economics, commissioned by the BBC, has shown that the cost to the broadcaster (in lost revenue the licence fee would otherwise attract from over 75s) would be £745 million per year, rising to £1 billion by 2029/30 due to the UK’s ageing population.  

One in six pensioners are now living in poverty, according to a new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) charity. Primarily driven by a fall in home ownership, increased cost of renting and a benefits freeze, it says that 36 per cent of pensioners living in privately rented accommodation were struggling with poverty – a rise of a third over the last 10 years. 

  Pensioner poverty is rising, having fallen steadily for nearly two decades, the charity said. The figures prompt fears that many pensioners will be forced to choose between paying for heating and buying food this winter, as benefits remain frozen below inflation for the third year in a row.The foundation’s chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: “Pensioner poverty is a problem that we thought had gone away.”The incidence had halved over 20 years, but began rising again in 2012-13. By 2016-17, 16% of pensioners were living in poverty, rising to 31% among those in social housing and 36% among private renters. Poverty here is “relative poverty” – an income of less than 60% of the median among pensioners, after housing costs.


Paul Raybould secretary contact 07854875430

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