Elderly residents are being urged to rebel against paying TV licence fees this Saturday after pensioners last year burned their licence letters in protest.

Pensioners again plan to protest in the Bridgegate against the removal of free TV licences for the over 75s coming into force this weekend - with Irvine Seniors Forum leading a demonstration to rally support from 10.30am on Saturday. 

Military veteran and North Ayrshire older people’s champion Jimmy Miller blasted the UK Government for taking away free TV licences for the over 75’s and called for continued protest against the cut, even after being implemented August 1.

Irvine Times:

Cllr Miller previously urged pensioners not to pay out the money – adding “you can’t put 3.5 million pensioners in the jail” as Irvine Seniors Forum lead a protest in Bridgegate, supported by Age Scotland, Disabled People Against Cuts, NAC amongst others last year.

Rosemary Byrne, Chair of Irvine Seniors Forum, said last year: “People are very angry. Many lonely older depend on their TV as a lifeline, and are very worried about this.

“It’s obscene when you see the amount of money the BBC is paying its presenters. These people have paid into the system all their lives. They are already making difficult choices about what they spend their money on, and now they’re going to have to find extra money they haven’t budgeted for.

Irvine Times:

“We need to keep the momentum going. I think there will be people over 75 refusing to pay this.”

Councillor Miller said: “It is disgraceful that this cut is being implemented immediately after an unprecedented lockdown which has saw many older people isolated in their own homes.

“It is a callous decision that needs to be opposed. The free TV licence is a lifeline to the many older people who suffer from loneliness and isolation and the COVID-19 crisis has really emphasised the need to retain it.

“We must unite against the proposal and continue to keep the issue alive in the public’s mind.

“At this time, I am reminded that past struggles, such as opposition to the Poll Tax, were successful through a campaign of non-compliance and we should not rule out any tactics which could help us win this fight."