YMCA calls for cost of TV licences to be cut for its residents

Young people living in hostels should be spared the full cost of a TV licence, according to a new campaign launched by the YMCA.

The youth development charity claims that television plays a crucial role in young people's lives, both as an educational tool and as a way to access national events such as this year's Euro 2004 football tournament.

But many young YMCA residents are unable to watch TV in the privacy of their own rooms because of the high cost. Under licensing laws, those living in multi-occupancy accommodation have to pay the full £120 annual license fee if they want to watch a private TV set.

The charity says that it often has to turn down TV sets offered as gifts by donors because residents can't afford the licence.

The YMCA says that young people living in the charity's accommodation should be allowed to pay the concessionary licence fee offered to the over-60s or those who have disabilities or mental health problems.

"The full fee is a disproportionate amount of income for many of our residents" said Chris Litherland, YMCA England's assistant housing director.

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