Government Accused of Ignoring TV Licence Fee Overhaul Promise

Campaigners say elderly left in limbo as no progress made on promised review

Ministers have come under fire for allegedly failing to take action on their promise to overhaul the TV licence fee system. Despite pledging changes in the Broadcasting White Paper last April, campaigners claim the government has “done nothing” since, leaving many elderly people in limbo.

The Broadcasting White Paper promised a detailed plan for the shake-up, which would clarify the future of the £159 annual charge. The document also expressed concern about vulnerable elderly people being at risk of falling foul of enforcement action, now that the free licence fee for older viewers has been scrapped.


Despite the pledge, campaigners say that no “framework or timetable” for the review has been announced. Dennis Reed, Director of Silver Voices, recently met with Clare Sumner, the Director of Policy at the BBC, who told him that “no discussions with the Government” have taken place on this issue. Reed criticised the government’s inaction, stating, “Senior citizens who are being bullied and targeted by TV Licensing deserve better than this.”

The licence fee is guaranteed until 2027 when the Royal Charter for the corporation is due for renewal. Options to replace the current system may include subscriptions or linking access to programming via another household bill. Previous attempts to find a new funding model for the public broadcaster have failed to gain traction.

As the government faces accusations of backsliding on its promise to overhaul the TV licence fee system, campaigners are urging for action to protect vulnerable elderly people from enforcement actions. With the next General Election approaching, political parties will need to address this issue and provide answers to the public.

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