§ 11. Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received about charges for television licences in private sheltered housing.
§ Mr. Atkinson
Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is an inconsistency, and indeed an injustice, here? In the case of private sheltered housing for the elderly a licence fee is charged for every television set, but a concession has recently been granted to private hotels with up to 15 sets to allow them to pay only one licence fee. Will my right hon. Friend now consider granting the same concession to private sheltered housing for the elderly?
§ Mr. Hurd
Under the new arrangements that we propose, hotels which are now in practice paying for only one set will, above the threshold of 15, pay for one set in five. I hope that—in Bournemouth as elsewhere—that arrangement will be seen to be fairer. We are, at the same time, extending the concession to disabled people in sheltered accommodation and to certain types of housing association housing not now covered.
§ Mr. Allen McKay
Why does not the Minister grasp the nettle and abolish television licensing altogether for old-age pensioners, with a view to phasing out licences for everybody?
§ Mr. Winnick
We certainly do not want advertising on BBC television or radio. Why can the Government give tax concessions to the richest people in the community—as they have done in four of five Budgets—and yet deny to many people, including the elderly who live on their own, the natural justice of not having to pay the full television licence fee?