https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/11/bbc-will-not-guarantee-free-tv-licences-over-75s/ "The BBC could scrap free television licences for the over-75s when it takes responsibility for the scheme in two years’ time, the director-general has said. Lord Hall of Birkenhead said the corporation will struggle to meet the £725 million cost of maintaining the subsidy. Currently, everyone aged 75 or over can apply for a free licence. The BBC was forced by the government to shoulder the “burden” of the scheme, as Lord Hall described it, as part of its most recent funding deal. The BBC will take full responsibility for the costs in 2020. Asked by MPs if he could guarantee that the free licences will remain available, Lord Hall said: “I can’t give you a guarantee it will continue. “The concession, as formulated, comes to an end in June 2020. We have got to decide what will replace it.” Lord Hall said one option would be to continue funding free licences for all, but the BBC will also consider other options. They could include means-testing to restrict the scheme to those on lower incomes, or removing free licences from those with a spouse, partner or dependent living in the household who is under 75." I accept that the BBC has to make ends meet, but is targeting the most vulnerable the only way to balance the books? The government would be outraged if the BBC cut the World Service, which the government finds politically useful. Excellent though the World Service is, why is it being paid for by licence fee payers who live in Britain, when the enormous amount of money it costs could be used instead to fund licences for the over 75s?