BBC is set to scrap free TV licences for over 75s

The scheme currently provides a saving of £150.50 to those eligible, believed to be around 4.46million homes.  

It was first introduced by the government in 2000 who paid for and ran it. 

But in 2015 the government decided it would no longer provide the funding and the BBC would have to take it on.

From 2020 A television license (pictured) may no longer be free for the over 75s following a report which finds pensioners are now wealthier

The scheme currently provides a saving of £150.50 to the over 75s (pictured stock image), believed to be around 4.46million homes

The current concession is set to end in 2020 and the BBC is now consulting on what the future of the scheme will be.

Options could include asking for voluntary payments, introducing means-testing and removing it from pensioners who live with younger family.  

The report, carried out by Frontier Economics on behalf of the BBC, raises concerns over the future cost of maintaining the current scheme. 

It forecasts that by 2021 to 2022 the cost to the BBC would be £745 million - significantly more than the £365 million cost to the government in 2001 to 2002. 

The report has not yet been published in full, but the discussion paper mentions a number of areas Frontier Economics has been asked to look into. 

The BBC has asked the report to consider two key questions. 

Frontier Economics concludes by saying that the paper will provide the context for the BBC to make a decision on any new scheme from 2020. 

The report focuses on the changing living standards.

At the time the concession was introduced, it was justified 'based on evidence that older pensioner households were disproportionately concentrated at the bottom of the income distribution'. 

But now the report claims that 'incomes of over-75 households have grown more rapidly than average'.

It also claims: 'Incomes, wealth and life expectancy of older people have improved significantly.

'Pensioner poverty rates have fallen, and older households report higher well-being on a range of metrics.

'These changes give cause for reflection on what an appropriate approach to providing concessionary licences to older households might look like.'

Frontier Economics has only released a discussion paper thus far and the full report is due to be released next month. 

It the upcoming report, the firm will 'consider both the implications of continuing with the current concession, and the case for reform of the concession from 2020.'

The BBC has stressed it will not change anything without consulting the public and the scheme could remain in its current guise.

A spokesman said: 'This is an important discussion paper which we are studying carefully. Their full report - which looks at a range of approaches the BBC could take - will be published shortly.

'As we have said, the Government concession ends in June 2020. We are going to be consulting on what then happens. It might be a concession on the same terms, it might be different concession.

'There are important issues to consider. We will do nothing without consulting with the public. Everyone who wants to contribute will be able to do so.'

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October 17, 2018

Sources: Daily Mail

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  •  Southeast Asian summit puts focus on trade tensions, trends

    Southeast Asian summit puts focus on trade tensions, trends

    eavily on trade to grow their economies, are responding with strong talk about free trade.</p><p> "All countries are linked in the same industrial chain in the world today and China and the U.S. are an important part of it. No one wants or expects to see an interruption of it," Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday in a lecture on the sidelines of the summit.</p><p> It's unclear if this week's summit meetings of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations will yield progress on a new trade pact that would commit member countries and others in the Asian-Pacific region to opening markets further.</p><p> Participants say India, for one, is balking at opening its markets wider to imports from China under the accord, dubbed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP.</p><p> Expectations are modest. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday in a statement that he would be joining leaders in Singapore to just "review progress" toward an agreement.</p><p> But the momentum is in the direction of more, not less, open trade.</p><p> "Against the backdrop of rising anti-globalization sentiments and trade tensions, ASEAN will need to continue to stay open and connected and leverage our collective strength to navigate disruptive trends and anchor our relevance to the global economy," Singapore's minister for trade and industry, Chan Chun Sing, told fellow economic ministers Monday.</p><p> The ministers approved statements on facilitating more open trade, cooperation on developing renewable energy, and e-commerce.</p><p> He noted that as a region of 630 million people, ASEAN is destined to become the world's fourth biggest economy by 2030, after the U.S., China and the European Union.</p><p> The globalization of manufacturing has been a key factor driving dynamic growth in Southeast Asia, where the regional economy's size more than doubled to $2.8 trillion as of 2017.</p><p> Speaking at a business conference on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, Li, the Chinese premier, compared "rising unilateralism and protectionism," uncertainties and other destabilizing factors to harmful contaminants in an ocean.</p><p> "No country can effectively deal with these challenges on its own," he said.</p><p> During Li's visit, Singapore and China signed an upgraded free trade agreement that gives each better access to markets in services industries.</p><p> As discussions over the RCEP trade pact drag on, another, rival accord, the dozen-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, has been making headway despite Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the Pacific Rim free trade initiative three days after he took office.</p><p> The remaining 11 countries are preparing to inaugurate the revised trade deal, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, following Australia's ratification earlier this month. The deal is due to take effect on Dec. 30.</p><p> Several other economies are preparing to try to join the pan-Pacific accord, including the Philippines and South Korea.</p><p> Japanese media reported that Taiwan's representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, former chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Morris Chang, plans to ask Japan to back the island's request to also become a member during a meeting at the grouping's annual summit in Papua New Guinea.</p>

    1 November 13, 2018
  •  Chinese premier says reforms, not stimulus, vital for growth

    Chinese premier says reforms, not stimulus, vital for growth

    s to support business to help drive growth as it weathers a trade war with the U.S., rather than more economic stimulus.</p><p> "Despite the downward pressure, we will not resort to massive stimulus. We will make adjustments as appropriate. We want to energize the market, in particular, market entities, and we have the conditions to do that," Li said in a wide-ranging lecture that touched on China's role in regional development.</p><p> He said the government will "crack down harshly" on businesses that infringe on patents and other intellectual property rights and engage in "other cheating activities."</p><p> China and the U.S. are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's complaints that China uses predatory tactics to acquire technologies a drive to supplant U.S. technological supremacy.</p><p> He stressed that the government would "crack down harshly" on businesses that infringe intellectual property rights and engage in "other cheating activities."</p><p> "China will not stop in its opening up. The door will only open wider and China will continue to deepen reform. Reform and opening up have brought China to where it is today," Li added.</p><p> China and the U.S. are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant U.S. technological supremacy. The two countries have raised import duties on billions of dollars of each other's goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey.</p><p> "The stable development and sound progress of such a pair of relationship benefits both countries and the larger world. Otherwise, it will affect the whole world," Li said.</p><p> "We hope that negotiations will be carried out on the basis of mutual respect, balance, mutual benefit and good faith, so that a solution can be found acceptable to both sides," he added.</p><p> Li is on an official visit to Singapore ending Friday. He is set to participate in the 33rd ASEAN Summit and its related events.</p>

    1 November 13, 2018
  • Animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit handing ownership of business to its employees

    Animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit handing ownership of business to its employees

    ng ownership of the business to its employees.</p><p>Aardman co-founders Peter Lord, 65, and David Sproxton, 64, are selling 75 per cent of the firm to staff to protect its future and ensure it remains independent.</p><p>Success: The animation studio is behind the Oscar-winning feature film The Wrong Trousers</p><p>The pair, who founded the company in 1972 while at school, are expected to receive a multi-million pay-out from the deal. </p><p>They will continue to own a quarter of Aardman following the sale. The animation studio is also behind Shaun The Sheep and Oscar-winning feature films The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave.</p><p>Sproxton will continue as managing director for the next 12 months and will move into a consultancy role once his replacement is found.</p><p>Lord will remain creative director focusing on feature films, including the upcoming Farmageddon: A Shaun The Sheep Movie.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 November 13, 2018

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