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BLAIR PROMISES IMPROVEMENTS TO CONCESSIONARY TV LICENCES

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Prime minister Tony Blair told MPs yesterday the government will consult on proposals to improve the concessionary ...
Prime minister Tony Blair told MPs yesterday the government will consult on proposals to improve the concessionary television licence scheme for pensioners after considering the findings next year of an independent review.

He was replying to John McAllion, Labour MP for Dundee East, who said the BBC - through its agent, the Television Licensing Agency - will at the end of this month withdraw from hundreds of pensioners in Dundee their entitlement to concessionary TV licences because, it says, they no longer qualify because of changes to the local council's letting policy. It did not matter who was to blame for this, but it was wrong that pensioners - who had done nothing wrong - were facing a£96 surcharge they could not afford and which they should not be asked to pay.

He asked the prime minister to use his influence to ensure all existing concesssions are preserved and instruct culture secretary Chris Smith to 'initiate an immediate review of the dog's breakfast of concessionary television licences so that some sanity and justice for pensioners can at last be brought to bear on another mess that we inherited from the Tories'.
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