RM/CWU – National Joint Statement For Customer Service Point Opening Hours and Review Process Resulting From The Coronavirus Pandemic

RM/CWU – National Joint Statement For Customer Service Point Opening Hours and Review Process Resulting From The Coronavirus Pandemic

Further discussions have taken place with Royal Mail over the last few days regarding the issue of CSP Opening Times. Accordingly, the joint statement which is attached has been endorsed today by the Postal Executive. This allows for us to move forward on this issue jointly with the company and also gives us the ability to review the situation Nationally on a regular basis starting with the first review w/c 6th July. The review approach will allow us to evaluate first time delivery and volume data along with taking into account any local difficulties which are being experienced in order to bring about changes in addition to the national template.

The Joint Statement contains the following commitments:

  • It is acknowledged that as a consequence of Covid 19, the long-term impact of this may result in variations to the service provision that was in place prior to the changes introduced on 6th April. This will be kept under regular review using the process, the data set, and joint feedback outlined below.
  • Both parties are committed to ensuring that any employee issues resulting from the amended opening hours in CSP’s are addressed in line with existing agreements and processes.
  • Whilst there will continue to be a temporary reduction of CSP hours during the crisis, it is now the right time to commence the implementation of an interim plan which will begin to increase CSP opening hours, starting on Saturday 27th June 2020. This will allow customers extended access to the CSPs, so they can collect their items and use other CSP services over more hours across the full week. Royal Mail and the CWU have jointly reviewed information in relation to CSPs and customer visits. The information confirms there has started to be an increase in customers collecting their items from CSPs. Therefore, extending opening hours will help improve service for customers, whilst maintaining safety arrangements within the CSP itself, continuing to protect customers and colleagues.
  • It is also recognised that there needs to be flexibility applied as there may be a requirement to review individual CSP opening times where there are reported safety or customer issues with the current arrangements. Any safety issues with the opening hours or arrangements should be dealt with jointly and reviewed nationally.
  • The CSP opening times will be jointly monitored on an ongoing basis between Royal Mail and CWU Nationally, with the first review w/c 6th July 2020. Both parties will continue to review the CSP opening times and the impact on service and this will also be carried out in line with the necessary Government and Public Health England advice and guidance. It is agreed that the next review will include the data and necessary information to scope the viability for a further phased increase in opening hours for Thursday & Friday daytime opening hours. Upon completion of this we will then continue to jointly review weekday evening opening hours and scope the viability for further increases to opening times across the week as part of this National review process.
  • There has been firm guidance on the safety and social distancing measures that have been put in place across the CSPs both internally and externally. These safety measures need to continue for the foreseeable future and enhanced where necessary to reinforce social distancing along with other key aspects, keeping customers and CSP representatives safe. Everyone working in the CSPs will be further briefed on the interim changes to CSP opening hours as these progress.• Separate National discussions will also take place to evaluate the current variations in terms of service provision and opening hours on offer across CSP’s in order to examine and evaluate the impact on staff and potential benefits of standardisation. These discussions will also take account of the impact of new delivery products and services being rolled out.

Whilst we have pushed Royal Mail hard for a firmer up front commitment to restore in full the pre-Covid opening hours in all CSP’s, this has not been possible to achieve and they are averse to this. This is due to the ongoing continuation and uncertainty of the pandemic, along with changing Government advice, plus customer trends and footfall into CSP’s and the continuing operational difficulties and challenges resulting from the social distancing measures currently in place within the operation.

Given these circumstances the approach outlined in the Joint Statement along with the commitments contained within it as part of an ongoing review provides the basis of progressing this issue and we would ask that any issues that are being experienced are dealt with jointly and raised to us in order to inform the ongoing National Review.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 600, email address: outdoorsecretary@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 335-20 – Joint Statement for CSP Opening Hours and Review Process
CSP National Joint Statement- Opening hours and Review Process

Royal Mail Customer Service Points (CSPs)/Callers Offices and Reception Areas – Coronavirus Covid-19 Health and Safety – Installation of Screens to Support Social Distancing Standards:

Royal Mail Customer Service Points (CSPs)/Callers Offices and Reception Areas – Coronavirus Covid-19 Health and Safety – Installation of Screens to Support Social Distancing Standards:

This LTB is to update Branches, Regions, Divisions and Area Health and Safety Reps on the information published in LTB No. 324/2020 on the installation of screens in Mail Centre and Delivery Office Customer Service Points (CSPs)/Callers Offices and Reception Areas.

In the latest Government statement the Prime Minister announced that, from 4 July, a “one metre plus” rule will be introduced for when it’s not possible to stay 2 metres apart and added that the distance could be lowered with “mitigations”, so the reduced distance was without a higher risk of transmission, referring amongst other things to the installation of screens.

The Health, Safety and Environment Department has been pursuing safety, security and social distancing improvements within Royal Mail. Government and PHE (Public Health England) Coronavirus/Covid-19 preventative guidelines have been raised with Royal Mail who have accepted that risk control measures must be implemented in CSPs and Receptions. The issue of screens has been central to this issue raised, to protect members working in customer facing roles from Covid-19, along with: wall signage, floor signage, posters, contactless payment facilities where possible, PPE, hand sanitiser and cleaning arrangements.

Please see the attached spreadsheet which lists the office locations and three-week installation programme.

In total there are 138 offices which have now been identified by Royal Mail where screens are required to improve safety, infection control and reduce risks in CSPs across the estate. In summary these are broken down as follows, listing those offices with screens and identifying those with a requirement for a screen to be installed:-Type of OfficeCurrently have a screen installedDo not currently have a screen installedOverallMail Centre102434Delivery Office1094104Overall20118138

All new screens will be installed over a 3-week period commencing from 29th June onwards as detailed in column ‘O’ of the attached spreadsheet.

In relation to Parcelforce offices, all depots have either fixed screens or temporary screens fitted to Customer Service Reception/Callers Office counters as well as key control lockers, where fixed screens where not already in place.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB334 Royal Mail Customer Service Points Callers Offices and Reception Areas

Copy of Copy of CSP Without Screens List Final – Programme

BT PAY 2020 – BALLOT RESULT

BT PAY 2020 – BALLOT RESULT

I am writing to inform branches of the result of the BT pay ballot which has now closed.  The pay award is for all Team Members (NewGRID Grades) and other NewGRID grades on Workforce 2020 contracts which your Executive was recommending acceptance.

As you know, the offer was as follows:

  • A 1.5% increase in pay from 1st July 2020 fully consolidated and pensionable, and flowing through to pay related allowances.  
  • The next pay review date of 1st April 2021 to remain unchanged.

The CWU ballot of affected members has now concluded, and I can advise you that the result of the ballot was as follows:

  • Accepting the pay offer: 63% of valid votes
  • Rejecting the pay offer: 37% of valid votes

Of the ballot papers dispatched, 55% were returned.

The CWU has now confirmed acceptance of the pay offer to the company and this will be implemented on 1st July 2020.

An individual branch breakdown will be provided to each branch tomorrow.  The briefing sent to members is attached.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Kerr

Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)

LTB 333/20

TB 125.20 Ballot Result

POST OFFICE: COVID-19 – RECOGNITION: EXTRA DAY’S ANNUAL LEAVE

POST OFFICE: COVID-19 – RECOGNITION: EXTRA DAY’S ANNUAL LEAVE

Branches will be aware Royal Mail is to make a one-off £200 payment with June salaries to our RM members in recognition of their efforts in continuing to maintain services across the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following Royal Mail’s announcement on 15th May, we immediately took the initiative to write to the Post Office to propose a similar recognition payment for our Post Office members who have helped to keep the nation’s Post Offices open. We made this claim as all of our members are key workers and deserve to be fully recognised for the hard work and effort they have been putting in on the front line to deliver essential services under exceptionally difficult circumstances.

Nick Read, CEO, responded negatively to our proposal, as he claimed it would be “cost prohibitive”. It should be noted that the £58m out of court settlement arrived at last December in regards to the Group Litigation Order for the Horizon scandal was conveniently and completely airbrushed out of the narrative within Nick Read’s rejection letter.

However, the Post Office seemingly had a mild change of heart with regards to recognition per se as during Nick Read’s regular video update to employees of 10th June (referred to as the “10@10”) he announced that all Post Office employees would receive an extra day’s annual leave. This position was confirmed by Steve O’Reilly, People Director, Business Partnering, in his “One Update” communication of 10th June in which he stated:

“We felt it was the right thing to do to mark this day as an occasion, and so we’ve chosen Friday 31st July as the designated day for this extra day of leave, as far as this is operationally feasible. Just as we would as if this were a traditional Bank Holiday, we will need to make this work across all our operations to protect the services we provide for our customers and postmasters, and so we’re now going to be working through local arrangements to enable as many of our people to be able to take this precise day of leave as we can.”

Our members, on learning about this “recognition” were naturally unimpressed and underwhelmed by this tokenistic gesture in comparison to a meaningful reward.

Indeed many have commented on social media about how insulted they feel. We believe the extra day’s annual leave is a poor substitute for a tangible monetary payment. Notwithstanding this position, we wanted to ensure the arrangements for taking the extra day’s annual leave were transparent and fairly and consistently applied for all members. As a consequence, we held discussions with the Post Office to agree the practicalities and logistics of our members taking the day’s extra leave and the attached Joint Statements to support our position (one for Crown Offices and one for Supply Chain) have now been published.

Crown Office (Directly Managed Branches) Arrangements

Crown Offices will remain open on Friday 31st July as they provide an essential service to customers. The arrangements to take the extra day off are as follows:

  • Members will be able to select their extra day off in lieu anytime between the period of Monday 20th July and Saturday 5th September inclusive
  • The key principle being a full attendance will be given as a day’s leave with no claw back of hours for all (including part-timers)
  • Those on annual leave, maternity leave, sick leave, paid special leave or a rest day on 31st July will also be credited with an extra day’s annual leave (ideally to be taken within the time frame above where possible).

Supply Chain Arrangements

All Cash Centres, Swindon stock operations and the majority of CViT Depots will be closed on 31st July, enabling the vast majority of Supply Chain members to take this day off as annual leave. There will be a skeleton operation working in some CViT Depots in order to service High Value Mail contracts on behalf of Royal Mail and at the cash management team in Bristol. For those members working on 31st July, the arrangements outlined above for Crown Offices equally apply. In addition:

• No-one will be financially disadvantaged for taking the extra day’s annual leave either on 31st July or on an alternative date. This includes payment for any Scheduled Attendance due to be worked on that day.

Obviously, for all members, work-life balance is important and nobody is going to refuse an extra day’s annual leave, especially during the peak summer period. It is though evident that the Post Office has come up with this idea for an extra day’s annual leave on a cost neutral basis as local managers will be expected where possible to absorb it into the normal operation with the emphasis on no additional costs.

Whilst our members remain disappointed the Post Office felt unable to match the £200 recognition payment in Royal Mail, we felt it necessary to ensure a fair and reasonable application of the extra day’s annual leave by agreeing a sensible approach with Management. Early indications are that members are grateful for the clarity the Joint Statements have provided.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Furey 
Assistant Secretary

LTB 332/20 – Post Office – Covid-19 – Recognition – Extra Day’s Annual Leave
Attachment 1 to LTB 332/20 Joint Statement Crown Offices
Attachment 2 to LTB 332/20 Joint Statement Supply Chain

Royal Mail & CWU National Joint Statement – Consumer Collections Training Plan

Royal Mail & CWU National Joint Statement – Consumer Collections Training Plan

Dear Colleagues,

Branches will be aware of the fact that the highly competitive parcels market continues to grow with customers demanding more from Royal Mail in terms of extra features on the parcels that are carried.

There is a demand from online retailers to have a returns collection offering for their customers. There is also a demand from consumers and marketplace sellers for home collection of outbound parcels – these are prepaid parcels where postage is purchased on-line. This growth in the market is being targeted by competitors. For Royal Mail to compete in the parcels market there is a need to provide a doorstep collection service for customers.

Customers will be able to book a collection on the Tracked Returns Portal; via retailer’s websites; on the Click & Drop shipping system; or on Royal Mail’s app. These items will be collected by the frontline colleagues who are in the vicinity or attending sites for deliveries. The service will be limited to no more than 5 addresses per day/delivery route Mon – Saturday, and items restricted to max 20kg and also size.

There will be further National discussions in regards to the exact operational details of this service taking place with Royal Mail and these aspects will be set out in a further National Joint Statement. The envisaged timescales in terms of the pilot launch of the service is currently being planned for the back end of the Summer/Autumn, however this aspect will also be subject to further discussion and will depend on the current situation in respect of Covid-19 at that time, along with any technical issues being resolved.

However, due to the current situation with Coronavirus it is important Royal Mail commences frontline training in early July to allow for the extended duration of this taking into account social distancing and to ensure that our members are kept safe. The CWU has had full input into the training materials and local CWU reps will also be fully involved with the rollout, the plan is as follows:

  • Work Place Coach (WPC) training sessions planned to commence on 6th July and finish by the 7th August 2020.
  • WPCs to cascade training to frontline colleagues from 13th July and conclude by 9th October 2020.Training materials consist of – WPC training pack, pocket guides, RMTV “on demand” videos, “how to” deployment guides, frontline operational brief (WTLL) including ‘What to do if’ posters.

Further National Discussions to jointly review learning from the deployment of previous projects such as Age & ID Verification and Inflight Phase 1 to inform the pilot and national deployment of Consumer Collections. This will inform a further National Joint Statement which will set out the approach to pilots, national rollout including the agreed timescales, operational aspects and working arrangements.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 600, email address:outdoorsecretary@cwu.org

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 331/20 – JS for National Consumer Collections Training Plan
JS – Consumer Collections – Training Plan 24.06.20

CWU North Lancs and Cumbria Branch SOS – Save Our Stan! Appeal

SOS – Save Our Stan! Appeal

Please find attached an appeal that is currently going on throughout the city of Carlisle for a young boy called Stanley.  Stanley is the son and grandson of two of our members and as you will see they face a daunting task of raising £500,000 for his treatment which is outside of the UK.

Georgia Brecken is Stanley’s mother, a member in Carlisle MC she is currently on a career break to look after her son and her dad Thomas Brecken is also a member in Carlise MC.

I have attached to this LTB the statement from Georgia and Lee which has gone out on social media.  I am sure you can appreciate the immense task this family face in achieving the 500k, so anything you can do to assist would be appreciated. 

If branches would like to make a donation to the SOS – Save Our Stan appeal, please make them payable to the CWU North Lancs and Cumbria Branch using the reference Saveourstan and they will forward them directly to the appeal, the bank details are listed below:
 

CWU North Lancs and Cumbria Branch

Account number:  34000872   

Sort code: 60-83-01  

Reference: Saveourstan

Any enquiries on the above should be sent to the gsoffice@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward                                                                                         

General Secretary

LTB 330/20 – SOS Save Our Stan! Appeal

SOS – Save Our Stan

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Coronavirus Update – Changes are coming to the coronavirus policy approach, Reminder – Social surcharges process recommences. 23 June 2020

Coronavirus Update – Changes are coming to the coronavirus policy approach, Reminder – Social surcharges process recommences

23 June 2020

Changes are coming to the coronavirus policy approach

Over the last few weeks we have started to see changes as the Government’s recovery strategy unfolds. We have completed the latest policy review in this context and over the coming weeks we expect to see changes to the policy approaches we have taken.

Our current policy approach and changes are outlined below. We expect the changes to take place from 1st August, however we will review if public health advice changes.

Sick Pay – employees with less than a year’s service

·        In response to coronavirus and supporting our employees, we temporarily changed the sick pay for employees with less than a year’s service.  Where the absence is related to coronavirus, these employees will receive the same sick pay as employees with over a year’s service.

·        This will be in place until end of July 2020. Our current expectation is that our normal approach to sick pay will apply for employees with less than a year’s service from 1st August 2020.

Furlough

·        For those colleagues with a Furlough agreement as they are unable to come to work for public health reasons (“shielding self” or “shielding others”). The furlough period will be extended until end of July 2020 providing employees have resubmitted appropriate evidence of the need to continue to “shield”.  After end of July, we anticipate that our approach to furlough will change which is consistent with the Government’s announcement. Colleagues on furlough will be contacted individually.

Colleagues looking after dependant

·        Where a colleague has to look after a dependant, such as a child, our normal approach applies. Colleagues can work flexibly, take holiday or unpaid time off. There are a range of options that can be considered, for example working on a different shift or day, or at a different time. They should discuss and agree with their manager.

Rowland Hill Fund

·        We have provided additional monies to the Rowland Hill Fund in order to give short-term support for our employees. The aim is to help employees who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of covid-19.

o   Employees can apply by sending an email to rhfhelpline@royalmail.com with their name, pay number and contact telephone number.  An advisor will contact them within 24 hours to discuss their situation with them and whether help is available at this time.

Reminder – Social surcharges process recommences

At the start of the pandemic, we made the decision to stop raising social surcharge fees. This temporary measure was put in place to align with safety measures and government advice, reducing customer visits to our Customer Service Points (CSPs).

Based on changes to government and health guidelines, and safety measures put in place within CSPs, social surcharges resumed from Monday 22 June 2020. This means Processing & Collections colleagues can again extract all items that are underpaid and pass to RP for surcharging. Delivery offices and their Customer Service Points will now start to receive surcharged items.

Customs charge fees have continued to be collected, however customers have been signposted to pay online and book a redelivery of Customs Charge items. This was done by providing CSPs with labels to be placed over the opening hours on the FeetoPay cards. The label contained a message which informed customers to stay home, pay online, collect only if essential and check latest opening hours online or via the RM app. This process should now also be applied to the social surcharge items handled in CSPs.

Download the app

To download the employee app – designed especially for colleagues – visit www.myroyalmail.com/app on your mobile device and follow the instructions. 

The latest version of the coronavirus Q&As is available via the SHE intranet page and on myroyalmail.com/coronavirus

There is also a dedicated Coronavirus helpline for managers on 0345 604 3657 and you can send an email to coronavirus.support@royalmail.com 

Group Communications

RM/CWU – Covid-19 Expansion of Additional Priority Postbox Test Kit Collections

RM/CWU – Covid-19 Expansion of Additional Priority Postbox Test Kit Collections

Dear Colleagues,

As previously advised in LTB 251/20 there have been several different Government lead initiatives in regards to Individual Covid -19 Testing services. We have concluded a National Joint Statement with Royal Mail which is a further expansion of the NHS Self testing service from pillar box collections. Due to timescales and circumstances beyond our control it is fairly urgent that representatives in conjunction with the laid down JWG process enter into discussions with local management in order to ensure that the process is carried out in line with those outlined.

The National Joint Statement covers the extension of pillar boxes for the home self-test kits to be collected, from c13,000 to c34,000 priority and identified pillar boxes Monday to Saturday, with further discussion and agreement necessary for any later collections being performed on a Saturday than those currently. The extended list of pillar boxes is attached; however please note these are subject to change.

The National Joint Statement is in similar regard to those that have been communicated to Branches previously in relation to this issue, and includes the necessary safeguards in terms of the appropriate SSOW, full CWU involvement and JWG activity, building on joint pilot activity that has taken place in London and the South Midlands catchment areas that has concentrated in ensuring that the correct standard operating procedures and SSOW are followed in order to improve the process.

Once again the nature of the requested service and pace of change ahead with this is being created is being set by HM Government. The CWU has made representations on the perceived lack of any consistent approach to the whole issue of CV-19 self-testing etc. which is making the operational aspects of the various initiatives linked to this service extremely difficult to deal with whilst also creating understandable confusion.

Accordingly, both departments offer our apologies for the short notice of these changes but once again we have been placed in this invidious position by HM Government at the last minute.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 600 email address: outdoorsecretary@cwu.org.

Processing, Area & Distribution: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.org quoting reference: 014.14.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch – CWU Assistant Secretary

Davie Robertson – CWU Assistant Secretary 

LTB 329-20 Expansion of Additional Priority Postbox Test Kit Collectionse

JS – Covid-19 Expansion of Additional Priority Postbox Test Kit Collections

Affixing Priority Post Box label – handout_v1.4COVID 19_priority post boxes_Operational Brief_v1.3Copy of Priority Boxes as at Mon 22nd June – basic listing

COVID Priority Post Box Collection_FAQs

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BBC over-75s TV licence axe backfires spectacularly as Tories face £1.6bn bill.

BBC over-75s TV licence axe backfires spectacularly as Tories face £1.6bn bill.

The Tories shovelled the benefit over to the BBC to cut funds – but it could now cost the government more than it saves.

By Ben Glaze Deputy Political Editor – Daily Mirror.

19 JUL 2019

When 

The Tories’ free TV licence betrayal of over-75s could add another £1.6billion to the welfare bill, experts warned today.

Crafty George Osborne, who was Chancellor 2015 when a deal was stitched up, believed forcing the BBC to fund the lifeline would save the Government £745million a year from 2020.

But the Treasury’s own watchdog yesterday revealed the move could backfire – ultimately costing more than it saves.

The Office for Budget Responsibility confirmed spending on Pension Credit was set to rise because of the move to restrict free licences to only those who receive the benefit.

Many who are eligible but do not currently take up the benefit are now likely to do so amid a planned advertising blitz by the BBC to raise awareness of entitlement, the OBR said.

George Osborne’s blunt warning to BBC after leaving them ‘no choice’ over free TV licences

The Department for Work and Pensions should be braced for a surge in demand for Pension Credit, it suggests.

OBR chairman Robert Chote said it “illustrates the dangers of unintended consequences when governments come up with clever ways to save money”.

Its fiscal risks report says: “DWP estimates there were around 470,000 people aged 75 or over who were entitled to the guarantee element of pension credit in 2016-17 but who did not receive it, almost 40 per cent of the total number entitled.

“These had an average entitlement of £65 a week, resulting in around £1.6billion of unclaimed benefit among this age group. So around half of that group would need to start claiming to wipe out the expected savings from transferring responsibility to the BBC and the BBC cutting its domestic spending by a corresponding amount.”

Thousands more people ‘could get DWP disabled benefits’ after Supreme Court case.

While “very large increases in take-up are unlikely”, the Corporation’s plan to publicise the availability of Pension Credit will lead to more people taking it up.

It adds: “It is relatively unusual for a government to delegate parameters of welfare policy to a broadcasting company in an attempt to save money, and it is perhaps not surprising that this may have unintended consequences.

“The BBC’s decision to means-test free TV licences via a link to pension credit receipt may well raise welfare spending by more than it reduces BBC spending … The net effect on the public finances would therefore be to push the budget deficit up not down.”

Stressing the move posed a fresh risk to public coffers, the OBR goes on: “The likely cost of the BBC’s recent decision to means-test free TV licences for the over-75s by linking it to pension credit – thereby potentially prompting a material number of those currently not taking it up to do so – poses a fiscal risk that we had not previously   envisaged.LATEST UK POLITICS NEWS

The Corporation announced this Spring that only over-75s receiving Pension Credit will be eligible for free licences.

Just 1.5 million OAPs are likely to be continue receiving free licences, while an estimated 3.7 million will lose out.

The Mirror is campaigning to save the benefit, with more than 18,000 readers backing the fight by completing coupons in the paper.

More than 600,000 people have signed Age UK’s Switched Off petition calling for free licences to be preserved and the Government to take back responsibility.

Setting up a system to means-test eligibility will cost the BBC £38million, with £13million annual running costs, MPs heard.

Bectu broadcasting chief Philippa Childs said: “The Office of Budget Responsibility is confirming what we have said all this time – that the Government should not be outsourcing responsibility for decisions on welfare benefit policy.

“Since the BBC’s announcement, there has been an unexpected consequence highlighting how many older people should have been in receipt of the Pension Credit.

“This shows the Government should take back responsibility.

“By passing the buck onto the BBC, it has fundamentally undermined this public service broadcaster by changing the nature of its relationship with its loyal viewers and dedicated workers.”

It was forced into BBC hands to save more than £700m a year – but that’s backfiring. 



Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams(CORR) said: “Our national broadcaster is not equipped to provide, nor should be administering, a welfare benefits scheme.

“We’ve said all along that this is the Government’s job and that’s why we call on our new Prime Minister to live up to the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge and continue to fund the free TV licence entitlement.

“Otherwise this situation has all the makings of a slow motion car crash, with many older people inexcusably getting hurt along the way.”

Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said: “There are no winners here.

“This Government’s disastrous decision will strip 3.7 million older people of their television licences.

“The responsibility for funding free TV licences should never have been offloaded to the BBC. The BBC is a broadcaster, not a branch of Government.

“If the Tories wanted to cut the concession they should have said so in the manifesto and let the public decide. But they didn’t, they promised to keep it, and now they must keep their word.”

Axe for free TV licence delayed.

Over 75s’ 2-month reprieve.

• Daily Mirror• 22 Jun 2020• BY BEN GLAZE Deputy Political Editor.

Dennis Reed.

THE axing of free TV licences for over-75s could be further delayed, sources said yesterday.

The benefit was due to be means-tested from June 1, but BBC bosses delayed it till August 1 due to Covid-19.

But they may now push it back until October.

A Whitehall source said: “We’ve been told from the top of the BBC that they’re going to extend that to October. They say they won’t go any later than that — that’s the crux point and the Government won’t intervene on that.” The source told the Sunday Times: “It also won’t bail them out.”

Some 3.7 million OAPs are due to lose free licences.

Only those on Pension Credit will get the £157.50 licence for free, after the Tories told the BBC it must now fund that itself.

The Mirror is campaigning to save it permanently.

Dennis Reed, of Silver Voices, aid: “We will not be content with another short delay, without any indication that the Government and BBC are serious about dropping this cruel policy. We cannot go on with the threat of the licence fee PLEA Dennis Reed hanging over the heads of older people indefinitely.”

A BBC spokesman said: “We have delayed implementation until August and we are… keeping that decision under review.”

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