FAT-CAT BBC bosses were yesterday accused by Defence Ministers of ignoring the “sacrifices” of Armed Forces veterans by scrapping the free TV licences for the over 75s.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt – who hosted Donald Trump for the official D-Day commemorations – demanded Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright take action against the BBC and request they sign the Armed Forces covenant.
She and the Veterans Minister Tobias Ellwood penned a furious letter to their Cabinet colleague with a list of questions to put to the BBC. And they warned that the BBC’s decision to start means-testing for the free TV licence would affect up to 1.1 million veterans.
They demanded to know what assessments had been made by the BBC over the likely impact the move would have on veterans and also suggested the corporation finally signs up to the Armed Forces Covenant – a commitment to protect the Armed Forces community.
The list of demands comes days after the BBC’s highly controversial decision to start means-testing for the free TV licence. Only OAPs aged over-75 who get Pension Credit will escape having to pay the licence fee – meaning 3.7 million will lose the giveaway from June 1 next year.
In the strongly-worded letter to Mr Wright, Ms Mordaunt and Mr Ellwood said: “Should you wish to write to the Director General of the BBC, you may wish to remind him of the sacrifices made by many of our more senior citizens in the defence of this country, and invite his organisation to commit to supporting veterans (and serving personel) through signing the Armed Forces Covenant with focused pledges to show the esteem in which the nation holds them.”
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