TAC responds to BBC over-75s TV Licence Fee decision

12 June 2019

Gareth Williams, TAC Chair, commented on the BBC’s decision to tie the over-75s TV Licence Fee concession to the Pensions Credit:

“The BBC had a very difficult decision to make, balancing the needs of older people alongside its core purpose of spending the TV Licence Fee on high-quality TV and other content. There is an enormous difference in terms of the impact on BBC services of finding £250m of cuts and £750-£800m. To find such huge cost savings would almost certainly have meant whole service closures, which would have contradicted the BBC’s requirements under the Charter which the Government set out for it, and left audiences deprived of public service content unavailable elsewhere.

“The policy the BBC has decided on, therefore, seems like a fair balance overall. Clearly it is vital that the right support is available for those who cannot afford to pay the Licence Fee, and it appears to show a joined-up approach to tie it in with the government’s Pensions Credit scheme.

“With this decision now made, the BBC can look ahead to firming up its future commissioning strategy and we do hope it will continue to invest in production from around the Nations and Regions, not least in Wales, where a thriving production sector is continuing to produce high-quality programmes across a range of genres.”

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