Old folk are told: ‘TV perk is switched off’

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Hundreds of old folk living in sheltered housing will now have to pay for their own television licences.

Previously Dacorum Borough Council stumped up the cash for the individual licences, which were provided at a special concessionary rate of £7.50 per licence.

But tenants have been told in letters from the council that ‘due to circumstances beyond its control’ the authority no longer qualifies for concessionary licences from TV Licensing.

It means that anyone under the age of 75 and living in borough council-run supported housing schemes will now have to pay the full licence fee – £145.40 for a colour television or £49 for a black and white set – when their licences come up for renewal in November.

Based on the latest figures the change is expected to affect around 417 tenants. A further 793 are already over 75 so they qualify for a free licence.

The council has pledged to continue to pay for licences in communal lounges.

A spokesman for TV Licensing said that some of the council’s schemes no longer meet the criteria set out for the concessionary rate.