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Plans to end free TV licences for over 75's have been criticised by Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady.

It follows  the BBC’s policy announcement on the future of the over 75s TV Licence fee, TV Licensing is advising customers currently receiving a free licence that they need not take any immediate action and that they will be supported through the changes when the current arrangement for free over 75 licences paid for by the UK Government comes to an end next year.

Photograph: Bruno Souza Leão from FreeImages.com

Speaking on the plans Mr Brady said "This is yet another example of the Tories penalising large sections of our society.

"This move could put the price of a TV licence beyond some pensioners which would increase isolation and have a negative impact on their mental health.

"Older people who are in receipt of pension credits will still be able to avail of free TV licences so I would encourage pensions to check if they are eligible."

Further to a public consultation, the BBC has announced that from June next year the BBC will fund a free licence for over 75s in receipt of Pension Credit. Information about the BBC’s decision can be found at bbc.co.uk/age

Over the course of the next month TV Licensing will be writing directly to everyone who currently has a free over 75 licence to let them know about the new scheme and make clear that they will remain fully covered by their free licence until 31 May 2020.

TV Licensing will get in touch with affected customers well ahead of the change next summer to explain what to do next, letting people know how those still eligible for a free licence can apply and what payment options will be available for those who will need to buy a licence in the future.

Over 1.5 million households with residents aged over 75 could receive free TV Licences funded by the BBC if they receive Pension Credit. TV Licensing will operate a self-verification system where individuals simply need to demonstrate their receipt of Pension Credit in order to qualify.

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