Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“I strongly disagree with the BBC’s decision to withdraw the free TV licence for older people over 75 who do not receive pension credit, which will impact on thousands of older people throughout Wales.
“Over half of the 260,000 older people in Wales aged 75 or over live alone and, for many, television is their only companion and their primary source of news and entertainment.
“Many thousands of older people in Wales who are entitled to pension credit do not claim it, with around £170 million being returned unclaimed to the treasury each year. Under the proposed changes, these older people will lose further financial assistance that can make a positive difference to their lives.
“Furthermore, we know that relative income poverty amongst older people is increasing, with 1 in 5 older people in Wales now trapped in persistent poverty, and the proposed changes are likely to exacerbate this.
“I have therefore called on the UK Government to fulfil its manifesto commitment to maintain funding for free TV licences for people over the age of 75, which would allow the BBC to reverse its decision.”