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Sinn Féin demand introduction of free TV licences for over 65’s

28 March, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called for the introduction of universal free TV licences on an All-Ireland basis for the over 65's and for the criteria set for the availability of free TV licences to be widened.

Ms Anderson said:

"Next week there will be another rise in the annual TV licence fee in the North bringing it up to £135.50. This will once again place a heavy financial burden on the over 65's among others.

"I am calling for the introduction, on an All-Ireland basis, of universal free TV Licences for the over 65's and for free licences to be available to all residents of residential care homes for the elderly and people with physical/mental disabilities and people who are blind. The age brackets set for qualification of 70 in the South and 75 in North for a free licence need to change.

"We need to take a much more comprehensive approach in meeting the needs of our older people and easing the financial burden that 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." ENDS

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