§ Dr. Howells
[holding answer 14 March 2002]: The Government introduced free television licences for people aged 75 or over on 1 November 2000. An estimated 3.4 million households previously paying the full licence fee are now entitled to a free licence. Three million free licences were issued in the financial year 2000–01. 3.2 million free licences were issued between April and December 2001 and the forecast take-up of the concession for the year as a whole is 99 per cent. In addition, approximately 500,000 people living in residential homes and sheltered housing, who previously qualified for the £5 Accommodation for Residential Care concessionary fee, now receive their licence free of charge; we believe this represents the great majority of those eligible, though precise figures are not available.
§ Mrs. Irene Adams
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioner households in Paisley, North are benefiting from free television licences for the over-75s. 
§ Dr. Howells
TV Licensing, which administers the free television licence scheme for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 3,800 people aged 75 or over in the Paisley, North constituency.