TV licence protesters to target PM with Twitter tidal wave
- From June next year, most over-75s will have to fork out £154.50 a year
- Age UK’s ‘Switched Off’ petition was handed in at Downing Street last month
Charity Age UK is encouraging hundreds of thousands of angry campaigners to bombard Prime Minister Boris Johnson on social media in a bid to overturn the decision to charge the elderly for their TV licences.
From June next year, most over-75s will have to fork out £154.50 a year. In the past the cost was first subsidised by the Government and then latterly by the BBC.
Age UK’s ‘Switched Off’ petition, which was signed by more than 600,000 people, was handed in at Downing Street last month.
TV licence: From June next year, most over-75s will have to fork out £154.50 a year
Now the charity is calling for protesters to try to get the Prime Minister’s attention on Twitter. They are also being urged to write to their local MP.
In a letter to signatories, the charity says: ‘Whatever you think about who should pay, this needs a proper discussion. I think Johnson should sit down with the BBC and agree a way forward.
‘We know that Johnson uses Twitter a lot. Let’s tell him what we think by sending tweets. If all of us do it, he’ll get over 600,000.’
The move to end free licences for over-75s has caused outrage. Scores of readers have written to The Mail on Sunday with many using the words ‘heartless’, ‘contemptuous’ and ‘shameful’.
The only people over 75 who will be able to avoid the fee from next year will be those in receipt of pension credit, which is paid to those of State pension age to ensure they receive a minimum weekly income.
But more than a million eligible pensioners fail to claim every year – either because they do not know about the benefit or are too proud to accept help.
Pension credit will top up your weekly income if it falls below £167.25 for a single person, or £255.25 for couples. To claim call 0800 99 1234. Those reaching the age of 75 between now and next June should claim a free licence until the new rules are in place.
You can do this from the age of 74 and receive a short-term paid for licence valid until your next birthday. Anyone who has mistakenly paid for a licence that should have been free can claim a refund. Visit tvlicensing.co.uk or call 0300 555 0286.