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Television license warning: BBC ‘tightens the screw’ as elderly Britons are ‘threatened’ in new crackdown | United Kingdom | New UK News

TV license: Dennis Reed criticizes BBC’s “stupid” plan

More than 75 years across the country have received letters telling them they should knock on the door if they don’t take action by August 4. The £ 159 fee was imposed on the age group a year ago and 260,000 are still refusing to hand over the money. . BBC bosses insist they are taking a soft approach to encouraging payment as the 12-month anniversary looms on Sunday.

But more than 75 years in Maidstone, Bath, Cambridge, Guildford and Scotland all said they had received a letter in the past few days warning them that their contact details would be passed on to local law enforcement teams for investigation if they did not. fail to contact TV Licensing.

Activists said the cases are “just the tip of the iceberg” and the letters are a “concerted attempt to tighten the screws.”

Capita, which enforces the license fee payment, is making customer service visits to retirees’ homes starting next month.

But the BBC insisted last night that it was “just not true” that execution letters were sent to elderly people who previously held a free license.

Silver Voices said it had been contacted by six members over the age of 75 who received the “threat” letter and at least two confirmed they had the free license previously.

Television license warning: BBC 'tightening the screw' as elderly Britons 'threatened' in new crackdown

Television license warning: BBC ‘tightening the screw’ as elderly Britons ‘threatened’ in new crackdown (Image: GETTY)

TV license rank: retirees demonstrate after removal of free allowances

TV license rank: retirees demonstrate after removal of free allowances (Image: GETTY)

The group insisted that the actual number of people affected is likely much higher, as many more people will not have come forward.

Director Dennis Reed accused the BBC of finding ways to reduce the number of retirees who refused to pay as the first anniversary of the fee introduction approached.

He said: “I think 300,000 over 75s have been pulled from the database since January because that’s the only way their numbers add up.

“Maybe local agents are doing this. They use different ways to deflate the numbers.

“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Failure to pay for the TV license can result in a fine of up to £ 1,000. Failure to pay the penalty may result in imprisonment.

Mr. Reed added, “We are reaching the defining moments of this campaign. The BBC must now decide whether it will follow through on its threats of fines and potentially imprisoning hundreds of thousands of elderly people, or whether it will back down and seek a solution to this dispute. “

Rank of TV license: protest against free admission for over 75s

News of TV licenses: protest against free admission for over 75s (Image: GETTY)

Lord Foulkes, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Older People, said: “I am appalled by the BBC’s insensitivity and double-dealing on this matter. They told us that they would not take this step.

“They talk about fairness in their letter.

“What’s right to threaten poor retirees with actions that could lead them to jail?”

“People who received the letter should contact their MP and ask what they would need to cut in order to pay.

“In the meantime, the government and the BBC should sit around the table to find a way to end the tightening of the screws on some of the poorest in our society.”

Former cricketer Lord Botham said many older viewers had paid ‘reluctantly’ and ‘would sit on their checkbooks’ in the future.

“The BBC is now threatening to send the boys out for what they call ‘customer service visits’,” he said. “The public can see through this Orwellian language and will never stand the BBC bullying the elderly,” he added.

TV license: the boss of Silver Voices attacks retirees

Jan Shortt, head of the National Pensioners’ Convention, expressed fears about the impact of the bill on seniors who are just above the pension credit eligibility limit.

She said: “These are the people with very little, if any, of their pension at the end of the week. “These are retirees who have to make day-to-day decisions about what to spend their money on – food, rent, utility bills.

“It is also the group of retirees who risk falling into poverty because without access to pension credit and without a gateway to other benefits, they find it difficult to cope with the cost of inflation on a fixed income without talk about a TV license.

“The problem for NPC is how will retirees who do not have the income to pay the £ 3 a week be treated.

“A company that accepts the biggest revenue increase on record for billionaires during the pandemic, but expects people aged 75 and over to struggle to pay for a TV license with state pension the most inadequate in the economically developed world, shows how wrong our priorities are. . “

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TV license prices in Europe

TV license prices in Europe (Image: EXPRESS)

BBC bosses will rake in £ 400million from the over 75s in the first year of indictment.

The company said more than nine in ten out of 75 households have now made arrangements for their new permits and denied that threat letters were sent to seniors who previously did not have to pay.

A spokesperson for TV Licensing said: “This is just not true. No fulfillment letter was sent to seniors who previously held a free license and this is not the letter we sent to 260,000 older clients.

“As we announced last month, we have written and confirmed the end-of-transition arrangement, the support available, and the simple steps to get started.”

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This notice was published: 2021-07-26 23:00:00

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