MP says Government has betrayed residents after nearly 10 thousand households won't get free TV license in Oldham

Date published: 04 August 2020

Ashton and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner says the Government has betrayed thousands of her constituents over their failure to extend free TV Licences for the over 75s.

In Oldham, 9330 households out of 12,960 with someone aged over 75 years old are no longer entitled to the benefit.

In Ashton-under-Lyne 3990 out of 5590 no longer qualify for a free TV Licence and across Tameside, 9840 of the 13,500 households with a resident over 75 will no longer qualify.

Angela, Labour’s Deputy Leader, said: “Many of my constituents have spent months during lockdown stuck at home with their TV providing a vital source of information, entertainment and for some, their only source of company.

“As we head into winter, over 75s are facing the very real possibility of having to continue to stay at home to keep them safe as the fight to keep coronavirus under control carries on.

“The refusal of the Government to fund this vital service after promising to do so is nothing short of betrayal and for them to blame the BBC who are having to contend with huge cuts is simply passing the buck.

“In my view, public broadcasters should not be responsible for social policy and these licences should be guaranteed as a universal benefit.

“Older citizens deserve dignity in retirement and reward for their hard work. The free TV licence is an important benefit for pensioners, and I am very concerned that taking it away from over-75s will leave many older people feeling isolated and alone.”

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