I do appreciate the importance of live television for many people who may otherwise feel isolated. People over the age of 75 are currently eligible for a free TV Licence.
In 2015, the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated the cost of continuing the free TV licences to be £200 million in 2018/19, rising to £445 million in 2019/20 and £745 million in 2020/21. At the moment, the Government reimburses the BBC for the free TV licences, but funding of the free TV licence will transfer to the BBC from 2020. It then becomes the BBC’s decision whether to continue the concession in its current form.
In 2015, the BBC commissioned Frontier Economics to explore the long-term options for funding the over-75s concession. The report sets out four potential options for the BBC to consider for the future of the concession.
The BBC has ran a consultation on possible options for the future, which has recently closed. You can find out more about the consultation and keep up to date with developments on this matter here: https://www.bbc.com/yoursay. As you will be aware, the BBC is independent to Government, but I am confident that they will take all views into account in deciding on the future of the free over-75 TV Licence. Speaking personally, it strikes me as odd to give free TV licences to those who can well afford it, so a blanket approach can, I hope, be avoided.