Over 18,000 households in the Bradford district could lose their free TV licences under controversial proposed changes, an MP says.

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins branded the BBC’s plans to make over-75s pay for TV licences a “disgrace”.

The BBC said it will still provide free licences to over-75s who can provide evidence that they claim pension credit – a means-tested benefit system which helps the elderly.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mrs Cummins said “nearly 3,500 households” in her constituency would be affected, pointing out that TV often acts as a “lifeline” to the older generation.

She said: “It’s an absolute disgrace that the vast majority of over 75s are set to lose their free TV licence. TV is often a lifeline to the over 75s, providing company for those who have no regular visitors. It’s often a source of communication from the outside world for those who can no longer leave their home.

“The over 75s have worked their entire lives to help support our country, so it’s only fair that they continue to receive free TV licences. The Government used to fund the free TV licences, but decided to cut them, hoping that the BBC will be blamed for the decision they were forced into.”

Figures provided by Mrs Cummins suggest that, even after means testing process, 18,680 households in the Bradford District will be affected, comprising 3,310 in Bradford South, 2,580 in Bradford East, 2,180 in Bradford West, 5,470 in Shipley and 5,140 in Keighley.

In the wake of this news, however, a local Bradford business owner has openly expressed that he is prepared to cover the costs of the TV licences for 10 hard-up pensioners.

Sarfaraz Ahmed, the owner of Gino’s Pizza and Grill on Carlisle Road, says he has made the offer out of his “own good will.”

He has provided his personal mobile number, whereby those who may be interested in his offer can contact him. If you are, or you know one of the many over-75s who will be affected by the TV licence cuts, you can contact Mr. Ahmed directly on 07756611499.