HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 cc588-9W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioners aged over 75 years(a) do not own a television, (b) already pay a reduced TV licence fee, (c) live in a household where someone else under 75 pays for the TV licence and (d) will be entitled to the free TV licence instead of paying a full TV licence fee at present; and what proportion of all pensioners aged over 75 years this represents in each case. [134537]

Janet Anderson

Based on information provided by the BBC, the answers to the hon. Member's questions are as follows:

  1. (a) the number of people aged 75 or over who do not own a television set is not known, but over 97 per cent. of all households have television;
  2. (b) 0.5 million households who currently qualify for a concessionary television licence include a person aged 75 or over;
  3. (c) no information is available on the age of the person who has previously paid the television licence fee in households where there is a resident aged 75 or over; and
  4. (d) an estimated 3.1 million households which currently pay the full licence fee will receive a free licence from 1 November.

Television licences cover households rather than individuals, so presenting the above figures as a proportion of the total number of people aged 75 or over would be misleading. There are an estimated 4.35 million people aged 75 or over in the United Kingdom, all of whom are entitled to benefit from a free television licence, but the estimated number of free licences that will be issued is 3.6 million.