Two Powys politicians have called for a decision to scrap free TV licences for over-75's to be reversed.

The BBC announced earlier this week that it would scrap blanket free licences for over-75s, following the withdrawal of a government subsidy for the scheme.

However, households with one person who receives Pension Credit will still be eligible for a free licence.

That leaves around 3.7m over 75's who will have to pay for a TV licence when the new rules come into force in June 2020.

Free TV licences for the over-75s were introduced by the last Labour government in 2000 in an attempt to reduce pensioner poverty, under an arrangement that saw the government compensate the BBC for lost revenue from public funds. That arrangement was reviewed in 2015 leading to a phased removal of the subsidy, leaving the BBC to pick up bill which is estimated to rise to around £750m by 2020.

Matthew Dorrance, Labour leader on Powys County Council said the Conservatives had "broken their promises" to the older generation.

"The Tories have broken their promise to protect older people and they’re stripping over 75s of their free TV licence," he said.

"Watching the television can be a lifeline for older people. At a time where pensioner poverty is rising, having a free TV licence gives older people access to the world outside of their homes and their day to day lives.

"Taking their free licence away and forcing them to fork out £154.50 per year is an act of cruelty.

"I urge everyone to support the campaign to stop this Tory cut."

Brecon and Radnorshire AM Kirsty Williams also took to social media this week, saying she would be speaking to BBC representatives to discuss the decision.

"Age Cymru and the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales have both warned of the negative impact this could have for older people," she said.

"This is the breaking of a Conservative manifesto commitment and it is particularly disappointing to see them criticise the BBC for the decision. The change is a result of the Westminster Government withdrawing funding and their attempts to shirk responsibility will fool no one.

"Earlier in the year I asked people for views on what the BBC should do. Many people said that at least some support should be maintained, so it’s good that at least those receiving pension credit will get a free TV licence.

"However, I am concerned that pension credit is one of the worst claimed benefits. The DWP estimate that up to 1.3million families across the UK miss out. The changes to the free TV licence make it even more important to ensure this is rectified and people get the support they are entitled to."

Speaking last week, The BBC director general, Tony Hall, said the decision had not been an easy one, adding: “Whilst we know that pensioner incomes have improved since 2000, we also know that for some the TV licence is a lot of money.

"I believe we have reached the fairest judgment after weighing up all the different arguments. It would not be right simply to abolish all free licences. Equally it would not be right to maintain it in perpetuity given the very profound impact that would have on many BBC services.

"The last two [budget] settlements have been made in the dark and without proper consultation. It is vital that future decisions are evidence-based and made after proper consultation and scrutiny. We need to find a better way."