Mark Menzies MP tells BBC to fund licences for over 75s from its back catalogue

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has firmly objected to the BBC's proposal to end free television licences for the over 75s - and has told the corporation to generate more money from its back catalogue.

Mr Menzies, the vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the BBC, wrote to the BBC as it carried out a consultation exercise on funding the licence for the over 75s.

He said: "All of the BBC's proposals centre on reducing the number of free licences it has agreed to fund.

"There is not a single proposal in the BBC's documents to generate more income to cover these costs, despite the fact the BBC has an enormous back catalogue which it simply is not exploiting enough.

"The BBC accepted it would have to fund these licences. This was all agreed at the time of the BBC's charter renewal. I sat on the bill committee of the digital economy bill when all of this was debated and discussed and at no time was any representation made by the BBC on the matter.

"Indeed, the main concern from the BBC at the time was that they did not want legislation in place forcing them to publish the high salaries of BBC executives and talent."

Mr Menzies said the BBC should look elsewhere to fund the licences for the over 75s.

He added: "Look at the success of Netflix and Amazon Prime - the BBC should be maximising its revenues from its iPlayer service around the world before it suggests taking free licences away from the over 75s."

Mr Menzies' submission to the BBC was accepted ahead of the consultation deadline this week.