82-year-old Ivy would rather 'go to prison than pay TV licence'
Tomorrow sees a big change for the over 75s. Despite working hard throughout their lives, and living through World World II, they will no longer automatically receive a free TV licence.
It’s a move that has caused uproar, but is still set to go ahead. One pensioner not taking the new rules lying down is 82 year-old Ivy Siegfried, who says that not only will she not be paying her TV licence, but that she’s even willing to do jail-time for it.
Free TV licences for the over-75s have been provided by the government since 2000, but the responsibility for the fee is being passed to the BBC. The BBC first announced plans to reduce the number of free licences in April last year, after the idea was suggested in a House of Lords report that looked at possible ways to address the wealth gap present between older and younger generations. So, as of tomorrow (1st August), over 75s, in the UK, will be receiving a letter and asked to start paying the £157.50.
If you don't pay your TV licence and you watch or record live TV, you can be fined up to £1,000. TV licence evasion is not an imprisonable offence. However, non-payment of the fine, following a criminal conviction, could lead to a risk of imprisonment.
Even with this risk of imprisonment, Ivy feels so passionate against the over 75s being made to pay the TV licence, she will refuse to pay it 'on principle'.
Ivy has seen first hand from her friends and neighbours how much pensioners rely on being able to watch their televisions every day.