Licence fee: Jacob Rees-Mogg tells BBC to ‘be nice’ to over-75s

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Jacob Rees-Mogg has urged the BBC to reconsider after it confirmed it will scrap the free television licence fee for over-75s in August.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Conservative Cabinet minister said: “Auntie, come on, let’s be nice to the over 75-year-olds as they’re some of your most loyal viewers and listeners.

“It’d be right to allow them to continue to watch television for free.”

It came after his opposite number Valerie Vaz asked the government to “cover the cost” of the licences instead.

She highlighted Age UK research which showed the importance of television to the age group during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministers and the BBC have been involved in an ongoing row over the concession.

The broadcaster agreed to take on responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement hammered out with the government in 2015, but has said it cannot afford to continue the universal benefit.

The corporation was set to introduce means-testing at the start of last month but the contentious move was delayed until August because of coronavirus.

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