Man, 87, who lost eye in motorbike accident in his 20s is told he is ‘not blind enough’ to continue receiving discount for his TV licence
- Christopher Teed, 87, told he is not eligible for a discount on his TV licence
- He lost an eye and lost partial vision in the other in a motorbike accident aged 21
- Under new definitions he no longer meets the criteria for ‘seriously disabled’
- TV Licensing said they are approaching Teed directly to deal with the situation
A man who lost one of his eyes in a motorbike accident at the age of 21 has been told he no longer meets the ‘severely disabled’ criteria for blindness to be given a discount on his TV licence.
Christopher Teed, 87, who lives in supported accommodation in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, with his wife Rev Mary Teed, 87, had been expecting to receive a half-price discount on his licence because of his partial blindness in August 2020.
The motorbike accident he was involved in at the age of 21, which was not his fault, caused him to lose one eye and left the other one paralysed with only limited vision, The Sunday Times reports.
Christopher Teed, 87, (left) who lives in supported accommodation in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, with his wife Rev Mary Teed, 87, (right) has been told he no longer meets the ‘severely disabled’ criteria for blindness to be given a discount on his TV licence, despite having lost one eye and part of his vision in the other in a motorbike accident when he was 21
However, upon sending off a cheque for half the cost of a normal TV Licence, he was told by TV Licensing on October 19 that he wasn’t blind enough to be eligible for the discount.
His wife Mary said that the company had changed their definitions and that now, Christopher no longer met the criteria for being ‘severely disabled sightwise’.
Christopher is awaiting an eye test so that he can provide evidence to TV Licensing for his discount claim.
In response, TV Licensing said that the terms regarding a discount were set by the government.
In a statement they apologised to Mr and Reverend Teed and said that they would be contacting the couple directly.
The couple live off of their pension, with Christopher receiving £100 a month in addition to his state pension and his wife receives £230.
The news comes after it was announced that the annual cost of a TV licence was set to rise by £1.50 from April 1.
Upon sending off a cheque for half the cost of a normal TV Licence, he was told by TV Licensing on October 19 that he wasn’t blind enough to be eligible for the discount (stock image)
What is covered in your TV licence fee?
- BBC iPlayer
- BBC Sounds
- Nine national TV channels and regional programming
- Ten national radio stations
- 40 local radio stations
- Dedicated Nations radio services
This will take the new fee up to £159 and is set by the Government, which announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.
The new cost equates to 43p per day, according to the broadcaster.
Those buying or renewing a licence after April 1 2021 will pay the new fee, while those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before that date, such as via a monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £157.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.
The cost of an annual black and white licence will rise from £53.00 to £53.50.
In a statement, the BBC confirmed the increase is equivalent to less than 3p a week with the overall cost of a licence equating to just 43p a day.
It added: ‘Our programmes and services have been at heart of UK life for almost a century and never more so than in such an unprecedented year.
The news comes after it was announced that the annual cost of a TV licence was set to rise by £1.50 from April 1 (stock image)
‘Each week 91 per cent of UK adults come to the BBC, with an average of 5 million people using our services every single minute of the day and night, across TV, radio, and online.’
Last year the BBC’s new director-general Tim Davie said the licence fee model was the best way of funding the BBC.
He told an Ofcom conference: ‘I haven’t seen a model that beats the current one at the moment, a universally funded licence fee.
‘The vast majority of households think it offers very good value. That’s what the BBC needs to focus on. Under my leadership, we’ll focus on that.’
Who gets free licences now?
The BBC introduced its over-75s scheme last August, stripping millions of pensioners of their free TV licences. Only those on Pension Credit are continuing to get the free licences.
It came after the corporation agreed to take over the responsibility for funding the free licences for over-75s from the Government in 2015.
It then said to carry on with the scheme would have cost it £745million a year which – a fifth of its budget – and would have risked it closing a number of services.
The BBC said this new scheme will still cost around £250million a year by 2021/22.
More than 630,000 people signed an Age UK petition in protest when the plans were announced.