Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ease financial burden of TV licence on pensioners

2 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has called for the introduction of free TV licences for the over 65's and for the criteria set for the availability of free TV licences to be widened.

Colour TV licence fees have been raised by 3% this year to £139.50

Ms Anderson said:

"This week there has been a 3% rise in the in the annual TV Licence fee in the North bringing it up to £139.50.This will once again place a heavy financial burden on the over 65's among others and comes at time when many pensioners are feeling the pinch with the rising costs of living.

"I am calling for the introduction of free TV Licences for the over 65's and that free licences be made available to all residents of residential care homes for the elderly and people with physical/mental disabilities and people who are blind. Currently if you are blind or severely sight impaired, you can apply for a 50% concession on the cost of your TV Licence. And, if you live in residential care, you may qualify for a TV Licence at the cost of just £7.50 per year.

"We need to take a much more comprehensive approach in meeting the needs of our older people and easing the financial burdens many are facing. The money they are being asked to pay for TV licences would be much better spent going towards getting home heating oil or paying an electricity bill which are rising by the week." ENDS

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