OVER-75s face a home visit from an ‘outreach team’ next year to make sure they pay their TV licence.
Pensioners who fail to set up a payment or fail to send in evidence that they receive pension credit will be pursued for the £154.40 fee.
They could receive a visit from what the BBC has dubbed a “support visit” from a member of the new team.
MPs have blasted the move as “traumatic” for elderly people.
Claire Sumner, the Beeb’s £170,000-a-year policy director told MPs on the digital, culture, media and sport select committee that the visits could be carried out “as sympathetically as possible”.
She said this team could be “a different cohort to people who enforce the licence fee” who will pay visits to the over 75s “and help them understand what the system is and help them apply.”
SNP MP Brendan O’Hara blasted the plans, asking Sumner: “A licence fee person comes to your door and you are a poor pensioner who simply can’t afford to pay it – that will be pretty traumatic, don’t you think?”
But Ms Sumner said that over-75s will have already received letters warning them of the changes and will get another one in February allowing them time to “set up a payment plan”.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s director said: “the more we hear about how the BBC proposes to run its new scheme from June 2020, the more filled with foreboding we are becoming.
“Unfortunately, these comments today certainly don’t correct the impression we are gaining that its going to be chaos at best and deeply upsetting for some of our oldest people at worst… this situation has all the makings of a slow motion car crahs, with many older people inexcusably getting hurt.”
Ms Sumner appeared before MPs alongside Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC director-general, and Sir David Clementi, the corporation’s chairman.
Lord Hall said he had hoped that the BBC would have more money in the pot to cover the scheme, but “things have not turned out as we expected”