Tuesday, 11 June 2019 10:57



The SNP has challenged Ruth Davidson to join the campaign against the Tory government's axing of the free TV licence for over-75s - as new figures from the BBC revealed around 268,000 older people in Scotland will be hit by the Tory cut.

In an email to the SNP, a BBC spokesperson confirmed there are around 356,000 over-75 TV licences in force in Scotland and just under 88,000 people aged over 75 on pension credit in Scotland - leaving 268,000 older people in Scotland poorer and worse off as a result of the Tory government's cuts.

Hannah Bardell MP said Ruth Davidson must join the SNP in standing against another Tory broken manifesto pledge. The SNP Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson, said the blame for the cut lies squarely at the door of the Tory government, which has hammered the living standards of older people with cuts to pensions and benefits.

Commenting, Hannah Bardell MP said:

“A decade of damaging Tory government cuts has left older people in Scotland worse off - and the decision to axe the free TV licence will increase living costs even further.

"It is shameful that Ruth Davidson is staying silent on another broken Tory manifesto commitment, which threatens to make so many older people in Scotland poorer.

"Instead of shirking responsibility again, the Scottish Tories must back the SNP's campaign to properly fund and protect the free TV license for over-75s, and put money back into older people's pockets by reversing Tory cuts to benefits and pensions.

"It is time this Tory government finally made the welfare of our older population a priority – instead of making things even worse by taking away key benefits, presiding over the lowest state pension of any developed country, and denying women born in the 1950s pension justice.

"With Westminster failing Scotland, it is clear that the only way to properly protect our interests and tackle pensioner poverty is with the full powers of independence."

The 2017 Tory manifesto promised to “maintain” pensioner benefits, “including free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences"

TV Licences: Up to 3.7 million over-75s to pay licence fee - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-48583487

SNP calls on UK Government to protect free TV for pensioners - https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/snp-calls-on-uk-government-to-protect-free-tv-for-pensioners/

Tories 'won't dodge blame for ending free TV licences for over 75s' - https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-wont-dodge-blame-ending-13935656

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