Loss of free TV licences for over-75s: What people in Portsmouth think

Here’s what people in Portsmouth think about the decision to axe free TV licences for  the over-75s.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 12:46 pm
Updated Friday, 21st June 2019, 12:49 pm
Top row: June Bettesworth, John Bettesworth, Ann Moth. Bottom row: Jenny Holford, Rob Holford and Trevor Garner Pictures: Louisa Moth

The BBC has announced it is planning to remove free TV licences from the over-75s. 

The corporation was told to shoulder of the cost of providing the licences – about £750m – by the then Chancellor George Osborne five years ago. But the BBC now says that continuing to provide the free licences means it is missing out on so much money that it will have to make deep cuts to programming unless it recoups some cash.

Here’s what people in Portsmouth had to say about the issue.

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The fairest bit about what they have said is to means test it, a lot of pensioners can afford it and are well off so I think they should pay it.

Trevor Garner, 56, of Portsmouth


Disgusting. About a week ago they’re honouring all the veterans and now they’re taking away all their TV licences.

Jenny Holford, 75, of Cosham 


We will see, won’t we? We have an income of £1,000 a month and bills that are £800 so with a TV licence costing basically the rest of our money what are we meant to live on? It’s a shame because to have to give up a TV licence at our age is a shame, it’s all we’ve got really.

Rob Holford, 77, of Cosham


I won’t be watching the BBC in protest. I think it’s disgusting. I'm absolutely appalled that the BBC would do this. I've had it for two years now and i don't think they have the right to take it away from those who have got it for free. Leave the people who have got a free TV licence alone.

Ann Moth, 77, of Hilsea


Although it's been marvellous to have it I will pay if I have to, but I don't think the programmes on at the moment are worth the money.

June Bettesworth, 89, of Farlington


I think it’s very unfair. The pensioners have worked hard for many years and for some people it's their lifeline. It's sad if they can’t afford it because its company for them.

John Bettesworth, 58, North End


‘It's really sad, we've got used to not having an extra bill to pay. To be honest I’d  like to know why they feel like they need to charge us. There are lots of people who can't afford it. My sister relies on her TV she doesn't get out unless someone takes her out. And the sad thing is that there are people who will cheat the system because they have no choice.’

Silvia Parker, of Cosham