Jo presses for refuge concessions in BBC charter review

Jo launched her campaign to gain TV licence concessions for women’s refuges with the help of staff at her local refuge in Bishopbriggs

Jo Swinson MP has called on Ministers to use the BBC Charter Review White Paper to address the issue of television licences for women’s refuges.

Currently hotels and guest houses receive substantial discounts on their TV licences, whereas refuges for women fleeing domestic abuse must pay full a full licence fee for each TV, though there are typically several under one roof. Jo has been campaigning hard for a concession scheme to be extended to refuges.

Speaking in Parliament today, Jo asked Leader of the House Geoff Hoon:

“Can we please have a debate on the issue of TV licence fee concessionary schemes?

“Over 70 Members have now signed EDM 1782 on the television licence fee scheme for domestic abuse refuges, which do not enjoy fee concessions, though profit-making hotels and guest houses do.

“Will the Leader of the House find time for us to debate this, in light of the publication of the BBC Charter Review White Paper last month, so that Ministers can take into account the views of Members when formulating the legislation?”

Commenting further, Jo said:

“I have received a very positive response to this campaign so far. EDM 1782 has received over 70 signatures and last month the Minister for Women agreed to take this matter up with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

“What is now required is action to change the situation for abused women and the refuges that provide shelter for them. The BBC Charter Review White Paper offers a valuable chance to introduce a concession for women’s refuges. I will be putting forward my comments on the Charter Review White Paper and I see no excuse for Ministers not to act to rectify this anomalous and, for some, traumatic situation.”

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