Labour's parliament candidate for Sherwood hits out at decision to scrap free TV licences

Jerry Hague, right, campaigning to reverse the TV licence decision.
Jerry Hague, right, campaigning to reverse the TV licence decision.

The man vying to become Sherwood's next Labour MP has described the decision to take away free TV licences for some pensioners as an "attack" on the elderly.

Jerry Hague, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Sherwood, showed his support for pensioners across his constituency by starting a petition calling for the decision to be reversed.

It comes as the BBC announced in May that free TV licences for pensioners over 75 would be scrapped in a bid to raise funds - a suggestion that has been slammed by campaigners.

And now Mr Hague, who will stand for Labour in the next general election, has hit out at the "cruel decision" and said calls for it to be reversed have been met with "unanimous support" from the public.

He said: "Ending free TV licences for the over 75s unless on Pension Credit was a cruel decision particularly when the government promised to keep them free until 2022 and charities have warned about the impact these changes will have on the elderly.

"Also, a recent report has shown that the poorest pensioners have already missed out on £7 billion of Pension Credit since the last election in 2017.

"I have spoken to the public throughout Sherwood in the past few weeks including at events in Bilsthorpe, Blidworth, Calverton, Edwinstowe and Rainworth and have been struck by the virtually unanimous support from the public across all ages and political leanings to sign my petition to keep the TV licences free.

"People are asking why is the government picking on the elderly and why isn't the MP for Sherwood standing up for them?

"It is another issue that is creating strong opinions, like Universal Credit and reduced policing and which is seen as an attack on communities in Sherwood by an uncaring Tory government.

"Some pensioners have even told me that they will refuse to pay any fee that comes in and will wait for the government to try and put them in prison, which is something I hope this government would not do."