THE BBC has not won any admirers with its plans that free TV licences for over 75s will be scrapped from June next year – a decision deliberately foisted on it by the Government.

Low-income pensioners aged over 75 who claim Pension Credit will still be eligible for a free licence; equivalent to 1.5 million people.

Those aged 75, who currently enjoy a free licence but do not claim Pension Credit, do not need to do anything as TV licensing will be writing to them in due course and they are covered until May 31 next year.

The message from Age Concern is that those over 75-year-olds who do not claim Pension Credit should have a go at applying as they may find they are eligible for this benefit – and bag a free TV licence to boot!

The place to do so is either by calling 0800 99 1234 or visiting

It is estimated that the cost of the current free-for-all scheme will soar to £745 million by the year 2020-21.

There will be undoubtedly cases where well-off over 75-year-olds are getting something they could comfortably afford, although it’s hardly much of a perk in later life.

Could the sums be better spent?

This decision could well be reversed. It seems highly unlikely that we will see a situation where over-75s are dragged into court for not having a TV licence.