This is how many pensioners in Sheffield will lose their free TV licence
More than 25,000 Sheffield pensioners will be forced to pay for a TV licence as part of the changes announced by the broadcaster BBC.
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh said 25,440 households in the city will lose their free TV licence and will have to pay a combined annual cost of more than £3.8 million.
She added that it could lead to a rise in ‘pensioner poverty’ across the city.
The BBC claimed the move will help the poorest pensioners, with those who receive Pension Credit and live alone still eligible for the free licence.
The BBC board was given the power to make the decision as to extend the free provision or not by the government following the cut of funding for free licences from Westminster.
Ms Haigh said: “The BBC was given control of setting the entitlement for over-75 licences because the Tories wanted to shift responsibility.
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“As a result, thousands of local older people across Sheffield will now lose their free TV license.
“A Labour Government introduced free TV licences to help fight pensioner poverty. Now it’s on the rise again and this announcement will only make it worse.
“Tory leadership candidates should stand by their 2017 manifesto commitment to older people and pledge to fund free TV licenses for all over-75s.”
Free licences were introduced in 2000 to reduce pensioner poverty by the then-Labour government, but funding was cut by the Conservative government in 2015, with the BBC forced to choose whether to take on the bill.
The changes will come into effect on June 1, 2020, with people aged 75 or over fully covered by their existing licence fee until May 31, 2020.
After that date, those not eligible for the free licence will have to purchase a TV licence every year at the same price as everybody else – £154.50.
For more information on the changes and whether you're affected visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk