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Free TV licences return for elderly

Tynwald votes to restore concession

Free television licences for over 75-year olds in the Island are to be restored with immediate effect.

They will be reinstated through a rebate scheme after Tynwald unaimously approved the move (18 Oct).

A motion from North Douglas member David Ashford amended by Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan, means anyone aged 75 and over who has been charged for their licence since 1 September, will be refunded.

It follows months of lobbying from ex-service organisations in the Island and concern expressed by members of the public.

Chief minister Howard Quayle said he was in favour of restoring the concession, in his manifesto for chief minister. 

MLC David Cretney who met veteran groups in the summer, said the issue had been 'clumsily handled' by the last administration and it was important the public had trust in its politicians.

Mr Ashford said the move had created much pain for little gain and, in some cases, the television was the only form of companionship for pensioners.

A rebate scheme will go before Tynwald for support next month.