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Free TV licenses to be means tested

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Published at 6:08pm 11th June 2019.

Tens of thousands of pensioners in Dorset will lose their automatic entitlement to free TV licenses.

The BBC has announced that free licenses for over-75s will be means tested from June 2020.

The controversial move has drawn criticism from campaigners.

It's estimated in 2016, more than 40,000 households in Dorset had at least one resident aged 75 or older.

Under the new policy, households without anyone who receives Pension Credit will have to pay for a TV license.

BBC director-general Tony Hall said that the move was "not an easy decision", but argued that the policy was fair.

He said: "Whilst we know that pensioner incomes have improved since 2000, we also know that for some the TV licence is a lot of money.

"It would not be right simply to abolish all free licences. Equally, it would not be right to maintain it in perpetuity given the very profound impact that would have on many BBC services.

"And importantly, it is not the BBC making that judgment about poverty - it is the Government who sets and controls that measure."

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