BARRHEAD'S MSP has slammed a controversial decision to scrap the free TV licence for over-75s.

Tom Arthur, of the SNP, expressed concerns about the impact the move will have on the 5,345 pensioners across East Renfrewshire who will be affected.

It is estimated that more than seven per cent of over-75s in the Barrhead area will have to pay an extra £154.50 a year when the free TV licence policy is axed.

READ MORE: Paul Masterton joins outrage over BBC decision to scrap free TV licence

The SNP has renewed calls on the UK Government to ensure the free TV licence is fully funded.

Mr Arthur told the Barrhead News: “A decade of damaging Tory government cuts has left older people in East Renfrewshire worse off – and it’s concerning to see the decision to axe the free TV licence will hit thousands of local people who are aged 75 or over.

"This is yet another broken Tory manifesto commitment which will take money out of the pockets of older people.

"It is time this Tory government finally made the welfare of our older population a priority, instead of making things even worse by taking away key benefits.

"The Tories should urgently stop this swindle and ensure the TV licence for over-75s is properly funded and protected.”

BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said scrapping the free licence for over-75s had been a "very difficult decision" but insisted it was the "the fairest and best outcome" to enable the corporation to continue to provide quality services.

READ MORE: BBC scraps free over-75 licence

A spokesperson for the UK Government said taxpayers want to see the BBC using licence fee income better, including "showing restraint on salaries for senior staff."

"We've been clear that we want and expect the BBC to continue this concession," added the spokesperson. "People across the country value television as a way to stay connected and we want the BBC to look at further ways to support older people."

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