§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what representations he has received from the BBC about the system of funding television licence fees by direct payment from the Department of Social Security; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what safeguards exist to prevent transfer of ownership of televisions to people aged 75 years or over in households where there are people younger than 75 years in order to avoid payment of the television licence fee; 
(3) what estimate he has made of net revenue in each of the next five years which may be lost to the BBC as a result of proposals to introduce a free television licence fee to people aged 75 years and over; 
(4) what discussions he had with the BBC about proposals to introduce a free television licence fee for people aged 75 years and over; 
(5) what estimate he has made of the percentage of BBC television licence fee revenues which will be funded by the Department of Social Security following the introduction of free television licences for people aged 75 years and over; 
(6) what discussions he had with (a) HM Treasury and (b) the Department of Social Security prior to the announcement of proposals to introduce a free television licence fee for people aged 75 years and over. 
§ Janet Anderson
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State discussed the proposal for free television licences for people aged 75 or over with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer prior to the announcement. The Government have received no representations from the BBC on this proposal. Officials from my Department, the Treasury and the Department of Social Security are discussing with BBC officials the detailed implementation of the concession, including funding issues.
The estimated cost of the concession in the first full year is around £290 million, or approximately 12.5 per cent. of current television licence fee revenue. Costs in subsequent years will depend on the level of the licence fee and on increases in the number of households including a person aged 75 or over. Since the concession will be available to people over the age of 75, regardless of the age of other members of their household, ownership of television sets will not be at issue.