OAPs’ anger over TV li­cence threat

Ian lets BBC chief know what he thinks of pro­posal

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Jackie Grant

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

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