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Free TV licence means testing for over 75s will affect about 13,000 in Rutland and South Kesteven

About 13,000 households in South Kesteven and Rutland will lose their automatic entitlement to free TV licences.

The BBC has said free licences for over-75s will be means tested from June 2020.

There are about 10,000 households in South Kesteven with one or more residents aged over 75 and about 3,000 in Rutland.

TV licences for the over 75s will be means tested from 2020 (12210668)
TV licences for the over 75s will be means tested from 2020 (12210668)

Households without anyone who receives Pension Credit will have to pay for a TV license under the new policy.

It is thought that around 3.7 million households across the UK will now have to pay the fee, with around 1.5 million eligible for a free licence under the new scheme.

BBC director-general Tony Hall said that the move was "not an easy decision", but argued that the policy was fair.

He said: "Whilst we know that pensioner incomes have improved since 2000, we also know that for some the TV licence is a lot of money.

"It would not be right simply to abolish all free licences. Equally, it would not be right to maintain it in perpetuity given the very profound impact that would have on many BBC services."

Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said: "Make no mistake, if this scheme goes ahead we are going to see sick and disabled people in their eighties and nineties who are completely dependent on their cherished TV for companionship and news, forced to give it up.

"Means-testing may sound fair, but in reality it means at least 650,000 of our poorest pensioners facing a big new annual bill they simply can't afford, because, though eligible for Pension Credit, they don't actually get it."

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