Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man over 75s 'should have TV licence parity with UK'

Chris Thomas MHK Image copyright IOM GOV
Image caption Chris Thomas MHK said Manx residents should get the same TV licence deal as people in the UK

Isle of Man residents over the age of 75 should have "parity" with the UK regarding free TV licences, a minister has said.

Policy and reform minister Chris Thomas said the matter was "in hand" and it was a case of "how" it could be funded.

The BBC has announced that from June 2020 only people receiving pension credits will receive a free licence.

But the same rule will not apply on the island, where the benefits system is different to that of the UK.

Since April 2018 the BBC has contributed to a third of the cost of licences for over-75s, while the Isle of Man government pays the remaining amount.

A BBC spokesman said it was exploring the "implications" of the changes for the Crown Dependencies, which also include Jersey and Guernsey.

He added: "Free licences for over-75s are guaranteed until the end of May 2020, and we are discussing what happens after that with the respective governments."

In the House of Keys on Tuesday, Mr Thomas said changes to UK law had been "approved" but its progress had been delayed by plans for the forthcoming general election.

He added a public consultation would be held by the BBC in 2020, though the corporation did not confirm this.

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