Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

News From Westminster by Michelle Donelan MP- Out and about in the community

Story posted on

I have been busy out and about in our community recently. 

I enjoyed volunteering at Shaw summer fete which was buzzing with local residents. It was also a pleasure to officially open the new play area at Broughton Gifford. The £55,000 project was half funded by a government grant and half by the Parish Council. Well done to all involved – their hard work has certainly paid off! It was lovely to see so many children start using the area and I must admit it is a shame the village I grew up in did not have a play area like this.

I recently launched a petition to reverse the BBC decision to charge over 75s the licence fee. You can sign at https://michelledonelan. co.uk/bbc-petition/

I was outraged by the BBC’s decision to revoke free TV Licences for the over-75s. Personally I think the licence fee is an unfair tax and should be scrapped all together but that is a different debate. The BBC have acted appallingly and I am determined to do everything in my power to change their mind. As your MP, as soon as I heard that the BBC was even considering this change, I immediately called for the BBC not to do so and warned that I would do everything necessary to protect my elderly constituents from this decision.

The government did not force the BBC to take responsibility for the over 75s TV Licence as is being reported by some papers. The BBC voluntarily took up the responsibility as part of a new deal with the Government in 2015. It was agreed on both sides that the transfer of responsibility was fair and could be worked into the BBC’s budget. That is why I am so very disappointed that the BBC has now abdicated its responsibility to over 75s, especially as BBC salaries have skyrocketed since 2015 with a huge number of BBC employees earning six or seven-figure salaries funded by the licence fee!

The BBC are shirking their obligation to its older viewers, many of whom have been their most loyal viewers and have paid the full price for TV licences for years. The BBC understood the level of commitment required when it agreed to the funding settlement and to take on responsibility for the concession in 2015. It is also perfectly within the BBC’s budget to do so without programming adjustments and without negatively affecting the quality of content.  The BBC have proposed that they will fund free licences for those on pension credits, which I think is a start but not nearly enough as my experience is that many elderly people are in need who are not on pension credits!

I have written a very strong letter to the Director General of the BBC and launched a petition which I urge you to sign – I shall send it to the BBC and present to Parliament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *