Scrapping free TV for over-75s will plunge 50,000 into poverty

Comment by Esther Rantzen

A couple of weeks ago I rang 20 older people who would be spending the Christmas holiday alone. 

Once again I found myself at a loss – how do you wish a happy Christmas to people who feel utterly isolated and abandoned, who literally have nobody else to spend the empty days with, to have a friendly conversation with? 

All of them were over 75. 

For them all, television has become their only companion, their link with the world. 

For the over-75s TV is more than a luxury, it’s a necessity. 

Which is why, when the BBC announced free licences might be taken away from them from 2020, there was an outcry. 

It seems so cruel. 

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