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BBC backlash: Older voters urged to act now to win back free TV licences-election warning

BBC 'in a death spiral' over TV licence says host

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Silver Voices wants the over 60s, who are most likely to vote, to use their power to hammer home the continuing anger about the loss of the benefit. The campaign group has contacted its members and encouraged them to ask candidates to sign an online petition calling for free licences for the over 75s to be reinstated. Every voter in Great Britain will have a vote in the “super Thursday” May 6 polls, with local, mayoral and police and crime commissioners elections, as well as seats in the Scottish and Welsh parliaments up for grabs.

Scottish Labour has said it will reinstate the free licence if it wins at Holyrood but no other party has made any commitment on the issue.

Silver Voices director Dennis Reed said: “There are very few common political issues across the UK being raised these days and free TV licences is one that has enraged and united older people of all political persuasions. 

“We want to put all political parties on the spot on this issue and election day on 6 May is an ideal opportunity. 

“Conservative politicians must let Boris Johnson know that there is festering discontent over the scrapping of free licences and urge him to intervene with the BBC to restore this welfare benefit. 

“The Opposition parties must also get off the fence and confirm that they would restore free licences at the earliest opportunity. 

“Older people represent about a third of the electorate, and we turn out to vote, so politicians need to address our concerns. Silver Voices was set up to make sure the silver electorate is no longer taken for granted.”

The BBC axed the free TV licence for older pensioners last summer and will rake in £400 million from the over 75s this year.

It put up the annual fee by £1.50 this month to £159.

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