Wise Age & PAiL Oppose Withdrawal of Free TV Licences

BBC1 Colour Logo500We are completely opposed to the government's attempt to deny older people aged 75+ the right to free access to BBC services.

This is a government decision which breaks their own Manifesto commitment. They should not be allowed to pass the buck on this to the BBC who have their own cuts and needs to consider but should instead take responsibility to maintain the support given by the state to help older people access transport, heating and TV.

As many older people are increasingly socially isolated the TV is often their main company and entertainment and it is cruel to remove this. Also the majority of pensioners live on under £11,500 per year, with millions actually in poverty therefore the amount they will need to find to pay for their licence will be a significant drain on their very limited resources, unlike the situation of those in government and Parliament for whom such an amount is a drop in the ocean.

We are also very opposed to the attempts by government and sections of the media and politicians to try to create an artificial division between the old and the young. Attacking the rights of the old will not lead to increasing the rights and benefits of the young. What is required is intergenerational solidarity so that those at both ends of the age spectrum - particularly the majority who are facing insecurity in income, housing, health and community facilities - are supported through an end to austerity, an increase in local services and increased wages and benefits for all.

PDF FileApplication of the Public Sector Equality Duty: Consideration of Equality Issues in BBC Decision-Making in Relation to Age-Related Concessions for TV Licences

Everyone over 65 should get their flu jab

As only 70% of the over 65s have had their flu jab amidst a reduced promotional campaign Wise Age recommends that anyone over 65, under 5 or is at risk should get on down to their doctor or chemist and get their free flu jab.

Working over 65 - opportunity or obligation?

Loughton JCP signOn Monday The Guardian published a comment piece by Michele Hanson, '70-year-old baristas? The government should wake up and smell the coffee'.

As the article by-line says,

'As more people are forced to work later in life, DWP advice for bosses to make concessions to older employees looks farcical – and our future looks frightening'

Wise Age has been campaigning for years to get the government to allow the DWP to reinstate the support programmes to help the 50+ back into employment and self employment. We need the government to reinforce our message to employers that 'Hiring older workers and having an age diverse workforce boosts your profits, productivity and employee loyalty'.

We support the separation of pension age from retirement age which allows 13 million over 65s to work because they want to and where the employer benefits. However we do not think that people should be forced to work after 65 and that it should be recognised that many people are forced to work longer due to the low level of pension provision, in particular for older carers.
We recommend that you read Michele Hanson's comment piece, which is here: 70-year-old baristas? The government should wake up and smell the coffee