HAVING to pay for a television licence will place an unfair burden on some older people says an MP who wants the BBC to think again.

Harriett Baldwin MP, whose West Worcestershire constituency includes Tenbury has expressed ‘disappointment’ at the decision to remove the free licence fee concession for people aged over 75.

Although older people receiving pension credit will still be entitled to a free TV licence, other viewers, including those living on their own in their nineties and centenarians, will have to pay the fee from August.

The changes were delayed owing to the onset of coronavirus but the BBC board has decided to bring in the changes next month.

The MP urged older people to check if they qualify to receive pension credit, which will entitle them to a free television licence.

“I have had many worried constituents contact me about this issue and I am disappointed by the BBC’s decision to tear up their 2015 agreement to preserve the benefit," said Mrs Baldwin.

“Together with introducing a range of cuts to output, including local coverage, I have been dismayed by the decisions taken by our national broadcaster.

“I have felt that the licence fee is becoming increasingly outmoded as more people move away from linear television watching and prefer online and streaming entertainment.

“But the over 75s are some of the most loyal viewers and I am annoyed that the BBC are seeking to take this approach and worried that this will criminalise our elderly and vulnerable – which is clearly unacceptable.

“I really hope the BBC will consider reversing this decision and I have urged the Government to de-criminalise non-payment of the licence fee to alleviate the threat to local elderly residents.”