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by Jenni Davidson
14 April 2021
Scottish Labour pledges help for older people with TV licences and broadband

Computer screen with piggy banks - Image credit: unknown

Scottish Labour pledges help for older people with TV licences and broadband

Scottish Labour has promised to help every person aged 75 and over in Scotland pay their TV licence or the equivalent cost of broadband.

The party is pledging to establish a ‘Staying Connected’ fund offering grants to every household with someone aged 75 and over up to the current £159 value of a TV licence.

The money could then be used towards either paying for a TV licence or other digital connectivity bills.

Scottish Labour’s digital connection credit would be available to all households in Scotland with someone aged 75 and over and claiming the state pension, benefiting up to 460,000 older people.

Free TV licences were introduced under by the last Labour government in 1999, but this ended in August 2020, with only pensioners in receipt of pension credit now eligible for a free licence.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Labour would help every person aged 75 and over in Scotland with the cost of their TV licence or help with their broadband bills.

“Pensioner poverty in Scotland is a national scandal, and it’s not fair that hundreds of thousands of older people are facing a new bill for TV licences.

“The Tories have broken their promise to these Scots, but we can use Holyrood’s powers to protect a benefit Labour is proud to have introduced.

“For many older people, TV is a lifeline against loneliness and isolation.

“While the pandemic separated us all in our homes, the way many of us came together was over online video calls like Zoom.

“As we emerge from the worst of the public health crisis, it is essential that older people are not left behind in our recovery.

“It’s right that the Scottish Parliament delivers support to ease the cost of that.

“I am proud to present a positive vision for the vital years ahead in our manifesto, which focuses on delivering a national recovery to build a stronger and fairer Scotland.”

Read the most recent article written by Jenni Davidson - The Holyrood baby: More likely to live in poverty now than the day she was born

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