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Couple’s licence cut bid refused

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

30/04/14 tv licencing story TV Licencing Story - Graham Collins

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A COUPLE have hit out at licensing chiefs after being told they must pay the full price for their TV licence – despite one of them being partially sighted.

Graham Collins, of Hawthorn Crescent, Stapenhill, must still pay £145.50 a year for a colour television licence, even though his wife Susan is blind in one eye and suffering from a cataract in the other.

TV Licensing is currently working with blind charities and groups to support those who are ‘severely sight impaired (blind)’ by charging them just 50 per cent of the licence fee.

Due to her condition 45-year-old Susan is unable to work, while Graham, 51, is on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) after his job was terminated on ill-health grounds when his aorta burst.

Mr Collins said: “We heard about the concession for severely sight impaired people and decided to apply for the concession as Susan can hardly see anything on the television.

“We had to send off proof of her impairment and received a letter back from TV Licensing customer services saying: ‘I should explain that sight impaired/partially sighted customers are not eligible for the concession and must still pay the full fee.’

“I will pursue this as it is just wrong that this has happened. She cannot watch television, so why should we have to pay the full price?”

Susan, whose loss of sight restricts her mobility, receives £171 a month for her disability, which covers her hospital trips to Derby, and Mr Collins was refused permission to be her paid carer.

A TV Licensing spokesman said: “Only people who are registered severely sight impaired (blind) are entitled to a 50 per cent reduction in the TV Licence fee.

“The concession is granted by the Government – which is also responsible for determining who is eligible.”

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