Esther Rantzen urges pensioners not to vote for TV licence snatching Tories.

Esther Rantzen urges pensioners not to vote for TV licence snatching Tories.

EXCLUSIVE: The former BBC presenter, 79, said: “The best way they can threaten the Government – the fault 100% lies with the Government – is not to vote for them”

BY

Kelly Allen

28 SEP 2019

NEWS

Dame Esther Rantzen has sent out the plea to older people.

Dame Esther Rantzen has urged pensioners to punish the Tories for taking away free TV licences by not voting for them.

The former BBC presenter, 79, said: “The best way they can threaten the Government – the fault 100% lies with the Government – is not to vote for them.

“The great thing about old people is that they do vote. That is their power.”

The Conservatives promised in their 2017 manifesto to maintain free TV licences for over-75s, before giving the BBC the responsibility to fund the benefit from June 2020.

The BBC says it can only make the concession available to households where someone receives Pension Credit – snatching it from 3.7 million older people.

• Pensioners are being targeted by TV licence scammers after Tory let down.

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The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson led a protest at the BBC’s offices in Salford, Gtr Manchester, and has called for more “grey power” marches.

But Dame Esther, who set up The Silver Line for isolated older people, urged them not to march in case they fall over.

She said at the first Smiley TALK – part of the Smiley Movement which brings charities and people together – in London: “The one piece of advice that I give over-55s is don’t fall over.

Do you need a TV licence to Netflix?

“The worst thing you can do is fall because it often has very serious repercussions.

“I’m not sure I would encourage people to take to the streets given the declining autumn weather .”

£320k licence fraud risk to OAPs.

• Daily Mirror

• 28 Sep 2019

SCRAPPING free TV licences for pensioners will be a “bonanza” for fraudsters, warns Age UK.

The charity believes it could result in a 13% rise in scammers posing as TV Licensing staff and targeting the elderly, when the change happens in June. It estimates the cost of such fraud at £320,000.

Nearly 18,000 people of all ages have been sent fraudulent TV licence emails in the past year, said the report, and older people would be particularly vulnerable. Charity director Caroline Abrahams said:

“Fraudsters are always searching for opportunities to part us from our cash … and the BBC’s decision to make millions buy a licence could be a bonanza for them.” CAMPAIGNER Concerned Esther.

The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson led a protest at the BBC’s offices in Salford, Greater Manchester, and has called for more “grey power” marches.

Protesters at BBC Media City in Salford.

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