National Pensioners Convention Wales
Confensiwn Pensiynwyr Cenedlaethol Cymru
NPC Campaign Keep the TV Licence free for the over 75s
Sadly the BBC announced they will go ahead with their plans to make people over 75 who aren’t on Pension Credit pay for their TV licences from 1st August. The UK Government has refused to intervene.
Here, NPC Wales is concerned at the problem of TV licence scammers who are popping up all over the place.
NPC Wales supports the Age Cymru campaign warning about scammers and has advised its members groups accordingly.
In support of the NPC UK campaign we made some videos for the main NPC Wales Facebook page and quite a few “shorties” with members tearing up their “TV licences”. We also wrote to all 40 Members of Parliament for Wales and all 60 Members of the Welsh Parliament. The responses from MPs were limited with 4 responses in support. We know that the Labour Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and the Northern Ireland Parties support the campaign
There was very little support for Early Day Motion (EDM) 747 tabled on 20th July:
That this House supports the urgent reversal of the decision to make over-75s pay for TV licences during the covid-19 outbreak; notes with concern that licenses will have to be paid for from August 2020; believes that responsibility for funding free TV licences should not have been handed over by the Government to the BBC; highlights that loneliness amongst the over 75s has worsened as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; further highlights that stripping the over-75s of their free TV licenses will exacerbate loneliness; and calls on the Government to reconsider the issue as a matter of urgency.
The EDM required 6 sponsors - those there were three Labour, two Liberal Democrats and one Democratic Unionist. Only 10 other MPs signed up in support - four Labour, one SNP, three Plaid Cymru, one Green and one Northern Ireland Alliance. That compares with EDM 2049 on the same subject tabled in Feb 2019 by Jeremy Corbyn MP which attracted 140 signatures.
From Members of the Welsh Parliament, there was no response from the Welsh Conservatives, Welsh Lberal Democrats, the Welsh National Party, the Brexit Party or the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party. The UKIP MSP expressed support in a long email response which was mostly attacking the BBC.
The Plaid Cymru Group of MSPs and the Welsh Labour Group of MSPs confirmed their full support.
Welsh Government provided support via the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism in a letter of support but pointing out that the BBC service is not devolved: "We continue to remind Ofcom of its obligation to hold the BBC to its Charter commitment to make provision for the UK’s nations, and we will continue to monitor developments within the broadcasting sector in Wales."
As of this week TV Licensing have started sending letters to anyone aged over 75 asking them to either pay for their TV licence or apply for a free one. The letter TV Licensing sends will include your licence number, your title and your last name and they will only ask you to pay using the following options:
- By post using the address TV Licensing, PO Box 578, Darlington DL98 1AN
- Online at tvl.co.uk/75pay or tvl.co.uk/75apply
- Over the phone on 0300 790 6151
If you are contacted and asked to pay for your TV licence using a different phone number, a different website or by posting your details to a different address, this is a scam.
TV Licensing will not come to your doorstep to collect the licence fee if you are over 75, so anyone who claims to do so is also a scammer.
If you’re unsure about anything, you can call TV Licensing on 0300 303 9695 to speak with someone who can help.
Covid 19 Survey
NPC Wales worked with Cymru Older Peoples Alliance (COPA), the Welsh Senate for Older People, Pensioners Forum Wales, Active Wales and Age Cymru to develop a survey to collect the experiences of people aged 50 or over during the lockdown.
This survey, available in Welsh and English, is for people aged 50 or over across Wales, and is being undertaken by key organisations that represent older people.
It's important that Welsh Government and others hear from you about your experiences of the lockdown and the impact that this has made on you.
This survey should take 15 minutes to complete and your response is anonymous.
You can find the survey here.
NPC Wales has to express concern that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) examination of the costs of Funeral Care has been dragging on since May 2018. Now because of the Covid crisis the CMA has issued an inadequate provisional report with a deadline of 10th September for a response. We are working with NPC National to ensure that a coherent and robust response is made.
Public Transport 2020
For the elderly and most vulnerable groups in society, public transport is key to addressing loneliness and social exclusion. Yet funding for supported buses has been reduced in the last ten years, leaving many rural and some urban areas without public transport. Older people may be reluctant to use public transport in the current situation. Older people who no longer drive often rely on Taxis or Private Hire vehicles but again in the current situation may be nervous or unwilling to use that mode of transport.
NPC Wales is carrying out a survey to support its campaign for improved public transport in Wales. NPC Wales believes that public transport is essential for older people to live independently in their communities.