Ben Fogle has promised to donate his entire Animal Park salary to help pay for pensioners' TV licences after the BBC announced plans to scrap free TV licences for people over the age of 75. The broadcaster wrote an impassioned Instagram post, in which he said the nation "owes" it to the "often neglected sector of society" to pay the charge. Ben said that he will be donating the salary to Age UK, although it is not clear how much this is.
Taking to Instagram, the 45-year-old said: "I LOVE the BBC. I think it is one of the greatest institutions in the world. It is the envy of most nations, it makes amazing content and I’d argue it is still value for money. I also owe my whole career to the BBC. They gave me my first break and they (you) employed me for many years but I am disappointed in the recent announcement on the abolition of free licences to the over 75s. I don’t entirely blame the BBC. I think the government forced their hand. I have decided to donate my entire salary for this year's BBC Animal Park to subsidise licences for those over 75 who have no way of paying for a licence."
it is not know how much money Ben is donating
He added: "My late grandparents, Jean and Dick LOVED the BBC. They would have been lost without it in their twilight years… We owe it to those over 75 who have served their country in the armed forces, the NHS, the fire service etc. Let’s not penalise those who most value the great BBC… This is the least I can do for those over 75, an often neglected sector of society."
On Tuesday, the BBC faced huge public backlash after revealing plans to scrap free TV licenses for pensioners. The new rules now state that only low-income households where one person receives a pension will be eligible for a free licence. Speaking about their decision, the BBC director general Tony Hall said: "This has not been an easy decision. Whilst we know that pensioner incomes have improved since 2000, we also know that for some the TV licence is a lot of money… I believe we have reached the fairest judgment after weighing up all the different arguments."
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