Retired train conductor says TV licence decision ‘punishes our older residents’

John Smith-Warren
John Smith-Warren

A retired train conductor who stands to lose out from the changes said it was unfair to punish older people.

John Smith-Warren said removing the free licence for over-75s would take away a vital lifeline for people who need it the most.

He said: “When people get older and less mobile it can become a friend in the corner of the room to people.

“I know my pension is fixed and what money is worth when you retire can be a lot less after 10 years when you take inflation into account.

“Pension credit is all well and good but people have other commitments and a lot of my money goes towards helping my children and grandchildren.”

But he said the responsibility for the change was not the BBC’s fault and it was the government that was washing its hands of responsibility.

He said: “It’s galling that MPs can claim back the cost of TV licences when people who need it a lot more can’t.

“The government talks about heroes from the wars and say how great they are one week and take their TV licence away the next. The government passed this on to the BBC, they abdicated responsibility and it shows absolute contempt.

“It doesn’t expect EDF or the other energy companies to cover the cost of the winter fuel allowance,

“All the political decisions in recent years have hit the people who can least afford it.”

But he appreciates the irony in pensioners being prosecuted for not having a licence.

He said: “If I don’t, when 75, buy a TV licence will I be sent to jail where I will get a free TV licence? Or at least, access to a TV where I don’t have to buy a licence?

“Seems unfair that prisoners with televisions in their cell don’t need a licence but law abiding oldies do.”