Responding to the news that the BBC may ask over-75s to give up their free TV licence or make a voluntary contribution to it, Evelyn Hoy, Chief Executive at the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland said:

"As more older people are living alone, we too often hear about older people who are lonely and socially isolated. Half of older people say that television is their main source of company and therefore it is vital that it remains accessible to all.

"Any proposed change in the cost of TV licenses for over 75's would have implications on the household budgets of individual older people. Many older people, even those with assets, may not be cash rich and have to carefully account for new expenditure.

"The potential impact of any cost changes on older people would therefore require consideration and we ask the BBC to listen to the concerns of older people."