PENSIONERS in Girvan are disgusted as it is revealed they are soon to lose their free TV licences.

The BBC announced that from June 2020 only households with a pensioner over the age of 75 who are eligible for pension credit will receive a free TV licence. As a result, a total of 5,320 pensioner households across Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock will lose their free TV licence next year.

Elderly residents in Carrick have slammed the decision, and believe they are losing one of the few comforts they have. Members of Age Concern Girvan had their say when they spoke to the Carrick Herald.

One elderly resident, Alice McCleary said: “It’s disgusting that they are taking the licence fee off the elderly – it’s the only thing they have.” Meanwhile, Margaret Robertson said: “It’s scandalous”.

Caroline James was angry at losing free TV licences. She said: “It’s disgusting. Look at what we have done for them and this is the way we get treated.”

One pensioner, Jean Thomson expressed how she wouldn’t be able to afford it. She added: “It’s an absolute disgrace – my pension wouldn’t pay for it”.

Leader of Age Concern Girvan David Gilmartin said: “I think it’s shocking, mainly because what people have done for their country, it’s disgusting.”

In February this year, Colin Smyth MSP said that Bill Grant should stand by his manifesto commitment of protecting free TV licences for over 75s.

He said: “Scrapping free TV licences for the over 75s will see over 5,000 pensioner households across Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock being worse off. With too many of our older residents on the brink of poverty, the prospect of older people having to cut back on heating and food to keep their TV should leave local Conservative MP Bill Grant thoroughly ashamed.

But Mr Grant said: “The Government and the BBC entered an agreement back in 2015 in terms of which the BBC assumed sole responsibility for the funding of free TV licences for persons over 75 years of age from 2020. I am disappointed at the BBC’s decision.”