THERESA May today warned BBC bosses not to take free television licenses from older Britons.
The Prime Minister suggested possible plans to pay over 75-year-old the £ 150.50 charge – from which they are currently exempt.
Ms. May warned that many older people depend on their television as a "connection to the world".
The BBC is considering whether to continue the program beyond the next year or not.
Free licenses are currently being funded by the government – but by 2020, Beeb will have to bear the cost of £ 700 million.
Campaigns have blown up both the ministers and the BBC because of the controversy.
Asked by Prime Minister today, Rosie Cooper of Labor asked, "Will the government honor its manifesto promise by assuming the responsibility it has delegated to the BBC to ensure that older people retain their television licenses?"
Ms. May said, "I recognize the value that people across the country have for a television, and for many older people, the connection that the world brings – and that's why the free licenses for those over 75 are the same important.
"We want and expect the BBC to continue to receive free licenses if they take responsibility for the 2020 concession.
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"I think taxpayers rightly want the BBC to leverage its considerable royalties to ensure that it is fully available to the British public."
The BBC bosses have warned that they need to reduce programming to finance the cost of free licenses.
Over 75-year-olds received free licenses for the first time in 2000. The Tory government told the BBC in 2016 that it would no longer fund the program through a deal that allowed the company to raise the royalty for the first time in several years.
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