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ESS to fight for pensioners' free TV licences

ESS to fight for pensioners' free TV licences

Thursday 13 June 2019

ESS to fight for pensioners' free TV licences

Employment & Social Security will "try everything we can" to retain free TV licences for low income pensioners.

Committee President Michelle Le Clerc made the pledge during yesterday's States meeting after being asked about TV licences by Deputy David De Lisle.

 The BBC announced this week that it would be axing free TV licences for over-75s, affecting three million households, including ones in Guernsey. 

"We had been briefed slightly by the BBC ahead of time," said Deputy Le Clerc of the surprise announcement. 

"The States of Guernsey have changed the way that we pay for TV licences - we still pay for TV licences for over-75's but gradually over the years we have been taken over by the BBC, so we are down to the States of Guernsey paying a third of over-75's TV licences [and The BBC the other two thirds]."

As a result, the States' expenditure funding TV licence concessions for the elderly has reduced over time to £469,000.


The BBC has said that UK households in receipt of Pension Credit would still be eligible for free TV licences, and Deputy Le Clerc hoped that an equivalent agreement could be reached for Guernsey. 

"With the announcement this week that is something we will need to re-negotiate with The BBC, but [...] if pensioners on low income would qualify in the UK, I would hope that some sort of agreement would be reached to provide that same sort of scheme [in Guernsey]."

"It is so early in the day but that is something I personally would be pushing for. We will be trying everything we can to retain some sort of scheme for pensioners on low income."

Pictured top: Deputy Michelle Le Clerc. 

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