Lib Dem councillors have launched a petition after it was revealed more than 9000 pensioner families in Sutton will have to start paying for a TV licence next month.

It's been confirmed that as of August 1, the free TV licence will be stopped for all over-75s except those receiving pensioner credit.

Across Sutton, there are 11,250 homes where a pensioner aged over 75 also lives, meaning those families qualify for a free TV licence.

Over 9,000 of those families will now have to start paying the annual £157 fee- otherwise, they will be watching live TV illegally.

The TV licence for over-75s used to be paid for by the central government.

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In July 2015, Conservative ministers passed the full cost of it onto the BBC, which forced them to make wide-ranging cuts and now charge over-75s for the licence.

Instead of ensuring the BBC has funds to provide a free licence for all over-75s, the government has only allowed over-75s to pay the annual fee in monthly or fortnightly instalments instead.

Sutton Council’s lead on older people, Councillor Nali Patel, said: “I’m disappointed that Conservative ministers have forced the BBC to cut the free TV licence for pensioners aged over 75.

"This will hit over 9,000 families across Sutton.

“During the pandemic, the TV has been a lifeline for many elderly residents who’ve taken the government’s advice and stayed at home to protect themselves.

"It is a travesty that ministers are now allowing the free TV licence to be taken away from nearly all over-75s.

“In an era where ‘fake news’ easily goes viral, there is a crucial role for public broadcasters like the BBC who provide accurate, impartial information for those needing it most.

"Conservative ministers must step in and ensure all over-75s continue to get a TV licence.”

To sign the petition visit at