Plans to remove free TV licences for pensioners could result in loss of life, Age UK have warned.
The charity's campaign manager, Rosy McKearney, told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer that being able to watch television made elderly people feel "valued" by society, and taking them away could have dire consequences.
“I don’t think any of us would find it easy to suddenly find us having to pay £150 for a TV licence, especially if you’re on a low fixed income," she said.
"We know they will just turn the heating down and that will risk their lives.”
Her appearance on the breakfast show came as Labour plans to force a vote urging the government to protect free licences for over 75s.
Ms McKearney continued: "Things like a TV licence make a huge difference to them to feel like they were valued by the society they have contributed to, but to also make their lives that little bit easier throughout the year."
According to Age UK, 29 per cent of over 75-year-olds are living in poverty or just above the poverty line and around four in ten pensioners claim TV is their main or only form of company.
A means-tested procedure has been suggested, however Ms McKearney said it would be “incredibly complicated”.