OAPs’ anger over TV licence threat
Ian lets BBC chief know what he thinks of proposal
Dumfries pensioner Ian Waugh showed yesterday what he thinks of proposals to scrap free TV licences for people over 75.
Ian was shocked when BBC Director General Tony Hall said the fee could be introduced by June 2020 because over 75s “watch more television than others do”.
Making pensioners pay for the licence once more could save the BBC around £150million.
But Ian and his fellow members of Dumfries and Galloway Pensioners for Independence aren’t impressed.
He blasted: “We’ve been told we live too long, we’ve been told we use the NHS too much, we’ve been told we didn’t save enough.
“Now we’ve been told we watch too much TV.”
The group, set up in April to discuss issues around the Scottish independence debate, are now calling for licence fee avoidance to be decriminalised.
Last year, there was 180,000 prosecutions for TV licence avoidance – 10 per cent of all criminal cases in England and Wales.
Currently, people over 75 can apply for an exemption from the current fee of £150.50.
Ian pretended he was taking a hammer to his TV after Mr Hall’s words.
He said: “The BBC pay stars like Gary Lineker £1,750,000 while Lord Hall himself is paid £205,000 a year. Pensioners get £125.95 a week.
“UK pensioners suffer from the lowest rate of pensions in the developed world.
“They suffer more than most from the lack of rural transport, bank closures and lack of retail outlets.
“Care providers are increasingly under threat.
“For many, the TV provides their only distraction and light on the outside world.
“If the BBC wants to act with a cavalier disregard for its social obligations, it should lose the protection of the criminal justice system and be forced to seek redress like any other commercial business.”
Smash it up Ian Waugh’s licence protest yesterday