§ 30. Mr. Hardy
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of retirement pensioners obtain television licences for the sum of 5p; what are the qualifications for this concession; and if he proposes to take action either to extend the concession or to apply it to all retirement pensioners who are householders.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
It is estimated that at the end of May nearly 400,000—about 41 per cent.—of retirement pensioners, were in receipt of concessionary 5p television licences. To qualify for this licence pensioners must be resident in an old persons' home as defined in the Wireless Telegraphy (Broadcast Licence Charges and Exemption) Regulations 1970. I have no plans to extend entitlement to this concession or to apply it to all retirement pensioners who are householders.
§ 38. Mr. John H. Osborn
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that the extension of the scheme for old persons' home concessionary television licences is being operated fairly, and to the same criteria, by different local authorities; and whether he is satisfied that the borderline between those who do, and do not qualify is adequately defined.
§ Mr. Brittan
Information about the change in the arrangements for the old persons' home concessionary television licence scheme made in April 1978 was sent to the directors of social services of all county councils, metropolitan districts and London boroughs, to the National Federation of Housing Associations and to all the development corporations. Applications for the licence are made to the national television licence records office by the authority responsible for the accommodation concerned. I am satisfied that the wide circulation of the necessary information and the centralised382W administration of concessions should ensure that pensioners living in accommodation eligible for the concessionary licence benefit from it.