Rachel Johnson says free TV licenses are 'luxury pensioners can afford'

Rachel Johnson has said that free TV licenses are "possibly a luxury that pensioners can afford" whilst debating with the Charity Director of Age UK.

In a debate with the Charity Director of Age UK, Caroline Abrahams, the LBC presenter claimed that many pensioners could afford a TV license, but thinks it is unfair for the BBC to have to pay for them.

She said: "What about the majority of pensioners who can afford to pay for their license?

"What I hear you saying Caroline is that pensioners shouldn't pay, but the taxpayer probably should."

Ms Abrahams argued that the plans to scrap the free TV license were not what they seemed.

She said: "We know that significant numbers of older people are living on a low income.

"The BBC has decided that the way it wants to go forward is to mean-test the TV license, so in theory the poorest don't actually have to buy one.

"That all sounds fine, but the problem is that in order to get your free license you'll have to show the BBC that you're on a benefit called Pension Credit.

"The difficulty here is that two in five of all the older people right across the UK, who are entitled to that benefit, don't actually get it."

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Early days of the BBC
The Queen, in a gold lame dress, is seen in the Long Library at Sandringham shortly after making the traditional Christmas Day broadcast to the nation. On the desk are portraits of Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The Queen is holding the copy of 'Pilgrim's Progress', from which she read a few lines during her message. The broadcast was televised this year for the first time and was carried by both the BBC and ITV. It was the 25th anniversary of the first radio message to the Commonwealth by her grandfather, King George V.
Transmitting the first radio picture of His Majesty King George V using a Fultograph machine, a clockwork-driven image receiving device. Signals were transferred to the 76 miles of land line connecting the BBC Headquarters at Savoy Hill with the Daventry Station.
Minister of Health, Neville Chamberlain broadcasting at the BBC
It was the first race in which John Snagge provided a radio commentary for the BBC.
A scene in a 1930s BBC recording studio showing Christopher Stone, wearing a dinner jacket, bidding listeners 'Good Evening'. Stone is considered to be the first disc jockey in the UK.
PA NEWS PHOTO 1935 BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE IN LANGHAM PLACE, LONDON
The Baird Control room at the BBC's Alexander Palace Television Station in North London.
LOCAL DEFENCE VOLUNTEERS 1940: BBC staff members of the LDV (later renamed the Home Guard) inspecting a Lee Enfield .303 rifle. The men wear their civilian clothes, apart from a helmet, armband and gas mask holder. Picture part of PA Second World War collection.
Television announcer Mr. McDonald-Hobley (right) with a guest being televised at the Radio Exhibition (Radiolympia), 30th September 1947.
Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery, one of the main British Army commanders during WWII, has a word for the BBC after his arrival at RAF Northolt from Berlin. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff went from Brussels to the German capital for talks with the Soviet Military Governor Marshal Sokolovsky regarding tension between the allied forces there.
Journalist and commentators on the phones in the Radio Correspondents Room.
Operator puts on a gramophone record
Operators bust at work in the control room
Announcer in a studio with a microphone in front of him and gramophone reproducing equipment in the background.
Exterior shot of the BBC Broadcasting Centre at the Palace of Arts, Wembley
Actresses, Doreen Russell-Roberts (left), Pat Gregory (centre) and Lola Farrell pose in front of a television camera during Radiolympia, 27th September 1949.
Televising "Les Sylphides" Ballet by Ballet Rambert from Alexandra Palace. Annette Chappell, leading dancer of the Ballet Rambert, dances before the television cameras in the ballet "Les Sylphides" which the B.B.C. presented last night as part of their Chopin Centenary celebrations, 22nd October 1949.
Tailor W.T. Rogers at work in front of the camera during his 'Made by Hand' series, being televised by the B.B.C.
Brumas, the baby polar bear, with his mother Ivy, being introduced to television viewers when a BBC mobile unit visited London Zoo.
West Ham Speedway team Captain Eric Chitty is interviewed before a television camera before the race as his team take on Brimingham Speedway team at West Ham, 21s June 1950.
Norman Wisdom (left) and Eddie Leslie at the BBC television show "Top Hat Rendezvous".
Actor Richard Attenborough.
Actor and singer Frank Sinatra performing on the BBC Show Band Show.
Stan Laurel as a guest on the BBC show 'Face the Music'.
Frankie Howerd running through his script for BBC radio show 'The Frankie Howerd Show'.
Frankie Howerd (l) and Tony Hancock during rehearsals for the BBC radio show 'The Frankie Howerd Show'.
BBC script writers Frank Muir and Denis Norden.
Actor Peter Cushing as Beau Brummell drinking tea.
(L-R) Dennis Price, Peter Sellers and Bill Owen
Famous runners Roger Bannister and Chris Chataway were named as Sporting Personalities of the Year at a ceremony televised from the Savoy Hotel in London. The 'Sportsman of the Year' Trophy awarded by the Sporting Record was won by Roger Bannister, and Chris Chataway gained TV's new Sportsview Trophy awarded in connection with the popular BBC Television series Sportsview.
June Whitfield singing on the BBC radio series 'Starstruck'.
Richard Attenborough, who heads the cast of the Boulting Brothers' new film "Private's Progress", a satire on Army life, now being made at Shepperton Studio's, cuts his birthday cake with a bayonet during a tea break today. L to R: Ian Carmichael, Thorley Walters, John Boulting (director), William Hartnell, Richard Attenborough, Terry Thomas and Roy Boulting (producer)
Comedian Tony Hancock (left) limbers up with a punchbag, assisted by a somewhat apprehensive Sidney James. There's no fight ahead of Hancock, who is just in training for the television version of his 'Half Hour' which is being screened fortnightly by the BBC.
Sir Anthony Eden, Prime Minister, pictured before the televised camera in a BBC studio at Lime Grove, London, when he spoke to the nation for 14 minutes on the Suez Canal Crisis. "If Colonel Nasser's action were to succeed," he said, "each one of us would be at the mercy of one man for the supplies upon which we live. We could never accept that.". Sir Anthony told his listeners that 19 nations had already accepted the invitation to the conference on the Suez Canal. There had been no refusals. The Prime Minister was seen seated at a desk by viewers of both BBC and Independent television.
French actress Brigitte Bardot at the Cafe Royal, London where she attended BBC Television's "Saturday Night Out" broadcast with other stars who are to take part in the Royal Command Film Performance before the Queen.
Sean Connery, as Mountain McClintock, left, and Larry Hoodekoff in the BBC TV play 'Requiem for a Heavyweight'.
David Attenborough (l) watches as Prince Charles and Princess Anne make friends with Cocky, a cockatoo brought back from his last Zoo Quest expedition. The Royal children were on an unofficial visit to the BBC Television Studios at Lime Grove, London. They had just watched the 'Studio E' children's programme in which Cocky had appeared. *Neg corrupt, scanned from contact
A model of the British Broadcasting Corporation's new �10,000,000 Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush, London. It will be Europe's biggest TV headquarters. The design was inspired by a question mark which the architect, Graham Dawbarn, absently pencilled on the back of an envelope.
Dr Martin Luther King arriving at Heathrow Airport from New York. He is due to appear on the BBC's Face to Face during his four day visit, as well as delivering a sermon at Bloomsbury's Central Baptist Church.
Fulham footballer Johnny Haynes (left) receives the BBC junior sportsview award trophy.
A BBC TV outside broadcast camera (bottom left) records the scene as Sir Winston Churchill is admitted to Middlesex Hospital with a thigh injury, sustained on holiday in Monte Carlo. A group of relatives and officials are seen entering the hospital after Churchill's stretcher had been carried from the ambulance. He was flown home from the South of France by an RAF Aero-Medical Comet jet aircraft.
A BBC camera man films through the goal
The Beatles singing together during a recording session for the BBC radio programme 'Easy Beat' CELEBRITY
The Beatles being interviewed during a break in recording the BBC radio programme 'Easy Beat'. (l-r) Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
Policemen waiting for a Dalek, parked alongside a "no waiting" sign, to be moved by BBC technicians. The Daleks were in London for location shooting of a new "Dr Who" series.
Crowds gather in Trafalgar Square to watch the results of the General Election on a giant BBC TV screen.
Singer Cilla Black enjoys rehearsing with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore at the BBC Television Centre in London. Cilla will be guest star in the first of BBC2's new 'Not Only - But Also' series.
Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd get on friendly terms with Dolly, played by Margaret Nolan in the latest BBC TV series of Hugh and I.
David Frost at the BBC Television Theatre, Shepherd's Bush, where he was preparing for the first night of the 13-week series The Frost Report on BBC1.
(L-R) Dandy Nichols, Warren Mitchell, Tony Booth, Una Stubbs, Dandy Nichols, and Warren Mitchell on the set of the BBC comedy Till Death Us Do Part as they rehearse at BBC Television Centre, London, for the new series on BBC One. **26/09/2017: (left to right) Dandy Nichols, Warren Mitchell, Tony Booth, Una Stubbs, Dandy Nichols, and Warren Mitchell on the set of the BBC comedy Till Death Us Do Part. The actor and political campaigner Tony Booth, who starred in Till Death Us Do Part, has died, his family said in a statement.
Facing a mountain of postcards are pop singers Cilla Black and Cliff Richard at BBC Television office in Shepherd's Bush, London, as they helped to count votes for Britain's song for Europe.
Comedians Eric Morecambe (l) and Ernie Wise.
PA Photo 27/4/1970 From left: Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Alan Mullery, Tom Finney, Johnny Haynes, Stan Mortensen during recording for the BBC 1 quiz show A Question of Sport at the BBC TV Centre in London
Disc Jockey Kenny Everett is consoled by his wife Lee in their Holland Road flat this evening after he had been sacked by the BBC for his remarks about the transport ministers wife passing her advanced driving test and for criticising the BBC in a pop music paper.
Disc Jockey Noel Edmonds, 21, has been chosen by the BBC to take over Kenny Everett's Saturday morning slot on Radio 1.
Henry Cooper with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the BBC TV Theatre in Shepherd's Bush, London. The heavyweight boxing champion had previously won the award in 1967.
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