AN ESTIMATED 4,227 people in West Dunbartonshire will be hit by the Tory government’s decision to scrap the free TV licence for over-75s, new figures have revealed.

Around 60 per cent of over-75s in the area will be forced to pay an extra £154.50 in household bills when the policy is axed.

Clydebank’s MSP Gil Paterson has described the situation as “deeply concerning”.

Ha told the Post: “Many older people rely on their television for entertainment and company. Taking away the free licence from 4,227 older people in West Dunbartonshire would be a cruel blow.

“To put this in context, some £320 million of BBC licence fees is collected in Scotland while football presenter, Gary Lineker, is paid almost £2 million - about the same as the budget for the whole of the BBC’s coverage of Scottish football. The BBC has received billions in licence Scottish licence fees (spent elsewhere) over the years so if savings need to be made they should be made elsewhere.

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“Older people are already worse off after a decade of Tory cuts and the UK state pension is the lowest in the developed world.

"It is time this Tory government finally made the welfare of our older population a priority – instead of making things even worse by taking away key benefits.

"The Tories should urgently stop this swindle and ensure that the TV license for over-75s is be properly funded and protected.”

The SNP has renewed calls on the UK Government to ensure the free TV licence is fully funded and can continue to benefit households and elderly people across Scotland and the UK.