Irvine seniors once again took to the streets to protest against the decision taken away free TV licences from the over 75s.

Elderly residents are being urged to rebel against paying TV licence fees after they were officially taken away at the weekend – with a demonstration held by members of Irvine Seniors Forum on Saturday morning.

Residents last year burned their licence letters in protest at the unfair law change – with military veteran and North Ayrshire older people’s champion Cllr Jimmy Miller urging seniors not to pay out the money – adding “you can’t put 3.5 million pensioners in the jail.”

Rosemary Byrne, Chair of Irvine Seniors Forum, said: “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.

“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.”

Irvine Seniors Forum is a voluntary group that sets out to inform, campaign and empower senior citizens of 55 years and over living in the Irvine area.

Do you have an issue affecting the elderly in Irvine or would like to know more email or visit the groups website at