Campaigners have announced that the BBC is now asking pensioners to supply them with a copy of their bank statement in order to prove that they cannot pay the licence, following the removal of the universally free license fee for the over 75s from August the 1st.
Some have argued that asking over 75’s to provide a bank statement opens up the possibility of identity fraud amongst other things. Caroline Abrahams who is a director at Age UK has said: “It will be extremely frustrating for older people to hear how potentially risky the process of applying for a free licence may be. Creating and sending copies of personal and sensitive financial material can expose older people to ID theft and fraud”.
This news comes after the website that over-75s attempted to pay their license fee crashed, which prevented people from paying. Those that were attempting to pay were met with a message that said : “temporarily unavailable while we update it for the changes to over-75s licences”.
The Labour peer Lord Faulks of Cumnock has criticised recent developments, he said : “We said that this would be a logistical nightmare, and that has proved to be the case. This has also caused considerable worry for elderly people who are already worried about how they will pay for their licence”.
A BBC spokesperson has said: “We’re writing directly to over 75s households and they do not need to do anything until they have received a letter from us. This letter will clearly set out what the recipient needs to do next and offer accessible formats including for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, as well as access to a text service”.
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Current Affairs Correspondent | My name is Oliver Down I am 22, and a staunch brexiteer. I am a Bristolian lad who studied politics in Leicester. I believe in free speech and accurate journalism and I won’t be afraid to give you “the other side” of the story!
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