MIKE Amesbury has slammed the Government for refusing to fund TV licences for over 75s.

The Weaver Vale MP, who covers parts of Runcorn, says it is ‘a disgrace’ that pensioners will have to start paying for licences once more, especially during these difficult times in which elderly people are feeling isolated.

Yesterday, Thursday, the BBC announced that it will go ahead with plans to end free TV licences for most over 75s after a two-month coronavirus delay.

This means more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from 1 August.

Only those who receive Pension Credit benefit will be exempt.

Mr Amesbury says that he has been flooded with concerns from his constituents about the impact this will have on elderly relatives.

“It’s a disgrace, quite frankly, that the Government is refusing to fund TV licences for the over 75s,” he said.

“I’ve been inundated with messages from constituents who are desperately wondering how they or their elderly relatives are going to afford it and fear the wider impact it’s going to have on them.

“This decision breaks a previous Conservative manifesto pledge to fund these licences, but the Government has once again sadly but rather predictably passed the buck and blamed the BBC - which has already been ravaged by cuts.

“Now more than ever, this is a service many elderly people are relying upon during what are difficult times where they often find themselves isolated, and also in terms of being able to access important news and information.

“It will also have a detrimental impact on their finances during a time when they can least afford it.

“The Government must do the right thing, stop shifting the blame and stand by its promises.”