THE BBC has suffered a massive backlash after deciding to axe free TV licences for over 75s, and planned boycotts of the TV broadcaster this Friday and next Friday have received huge support on social media.
On Monday the BBC announced plans to abolish free TV licences for over 75s, taking effect next June. From this date, only households with someone in receipt of Pension Credit will be able to claim a free TV license, meaning around 3.7million over-75s will be stung by the annual £154.50 fee. The BBC is facing a huge backlash for axing the free TV licences, with social media users launching a campaign to boycott all BBC channels on Friday 14th and 21st of June, in protest of the changes.
Facebook users have called for a boycott of the BBC on Friday 21st June in protest of the decision to scrap free TV licences for pensioners.
The post, which had been shared more than 144,000 times by 9am today, said: “PLEASE DO NOT WATCH ANY BBC CHANNEL ON FRIDAY 21st JUNE in protest that the Government has withdrawn the funding for people 75 and over to have a free TV licence.
“All this to claw back £700,000 from our pensioners.”
But Twitter users have gone further, urging people to start the boycott this Friday, under the hashtags #boycottthebbc and #boycottbbc.
One user wrote: “Please everyone boycott the BBC on Friday.
“Making pensioners pay for their licences.”
Another said: “Don’t forget everyone boycott all of BBC programs on Friday.”
Another wrote: “How amazing would it be if every one of us cancelled paying and stopped watching the BBC. #boycottBBC”
Thousands are furious at the BBC’s decision to scrap free TV licences, with more than 400,000 people signing Age UK’s petition to save the scheme.
BBC Presenter Ben Fogle has joined the backlash, pledging to donate his entire salary to subsidise licences for those who have no way of paying the fee.
From June 2020 only around 1.5 million households will be eligible for a free TV licence under the new scheme.
The Government has been criticised for forcing the financial burden on to the BBC.
As part of the charter agreement which came into effect in 2017, the BBC would take on the burden of paying for free licences by June 2020.