TV Licences

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2006 Retired Members' Conference
22 September 2006
Carried as Amended

Conference is totally opposed to the present situation in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals where pensioners, those persons over 60, are required to pay a daily subscription to enjoy television whilst a patient in a NHS hospital.

We are aware that all patients have to subscribe but this is totally unfair to pensioners on fixed income to pay these large amounts. The policy particularly affects our retired members and other pensioners as they have smaller disposable incomes and usually spend more time in hospitals. Over 75’s receive a free television licence. A stay in hospital should not cost the elderly more than when they are staying at home.

People who are taken into short term care outside their permanent residence are required, currently, to pay for an additional television licence if they wish to benefit from a television in their own room. Those that are in long-term care, a period of over six weeks, pay a concessionary rate of £5 a year. However, whilst a concession exists for those aged 75 to have a free television licence at one’s permanent residence, this does not extend to those in care homes on a short or long-term basis.

This is clearly an anomaly but one which brings additional hardship to the aged who, for various reasons, such as convalescence or respite care, enter a care home, particularly for relatively short periods.

Those serving prison sentences are not required to make payments for television entertainment so why should sick and disabled pensioners be required to do so.

Conference calls upon the National Retired Members’ Committee and the National Executive Council to campaign for:

1)the abolition of these charges for all NHS patients over the age of 60 years during their stay in a NHS hospital.

2)to amend the law to enable all those of pensionable age to be entitled to a free television licence whilst they are in care homes irrespective of their length of stay