Old couple chased for TV licence

The television licensing authority has forced an elderly couple to pay their fee despite the fact that they both reside at an old people's home, Expressen reports.

Wåge and Anna-Lisa Hermansson, aged 94 and 90 respectively, received a letter from Radiotjänst asking them to fill in a form regarding their health. The form required details about their continence and the extent to which they required help going to the toilet.

Anna-Lisa Hermansson, who has lived with her husband at a home in Vaggeryd in southern Sweden since the summer, told Expressen that she found the whole thing “childish”.

“Our health is none of their business. We have become objects. We are not humans anymore,” she said.

The administrative court of appeal decided last year that Radiotjänst would be vested with the authority to decide whether or not an individual licensee should be covered by the common licence held by an old people’s home. Previously this decision was made at the municipal level.

In this case Radiotjänst judged the couple in question to be sufficiently healthy. When threatened with the Enforcement Administration the Hermanssons eventually elected to pay.

“We have a decision from the court that says that we have to judge whether or not someone is healthy enough to pay,” Radiotjänst’s CEO Lars Lindberg told The Local.

“It is a disaster for us. We do not want to have to make this judgment and have asked the government to change the legislation. We are now waiting for a decision,” said Lindberg

As for the Hermanssons, Lindberg says that he does not know the details of their particular case.

“Perhaps they didn’t answer our letter. If that is the case they would automatically be reported to the Enforcement Administration,” he said.

The Hermanssons find it strange that they should have to pay when nobody else at their home does.

“We have no problem paying; we always did before. But it seems a little strange that we are the only ones here who pay,” said Anna-Lisa Hermansson

“People live in places like this for one reason: they are sick,” she added.