PENSIONERS will protest in Oxford as a part of a national last bid to stop plans to end free television licences for over 75s.

The current benefit will end on July 31 and up to 3.7 million pensioners will have to pay up to £157.50 to watch the BBC on TV and on iPlayer, according to the National Pensioners Convention (NPC).

The free scheme had been funded by the government since 2000 but responsibility was passed to the BBC in 2015.

The NPC lays the blame for axing the free licence with the government.

ALSO READ: Government role 'disgraceful' in ending free TV licences

John Paine, secretary of Oxfordshire NPC Group said: “Older people feel angry that the Prime Minister – who promised last November that it was ‘crucial’ to save the free licence for all over 75s – has failed to keep his promise.

He said the free licence was a 'vital universal benefit' and decisions on it should never have been passed to the BBC.

Mr Paine added: "To make it worse the government has continually cut the BBC’s funding.”

NPC members are holding protests across the country.

The main Oxfordshire protest will be a ‘safe and socially distanced’ protest in Oxford's Bonn Square on July 30 from noon.