Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson writes exclusively for the Mirror.
The Daily Mirror has a deep and proud history of speaking truth to power.
The campaign against the axing of free TV licences for the over-75s has been another fine addition to that history.
For millions of our older generation, the BBC is a loyal, trusted companion, and a vital window on the world.
And the Mirror has been at the forefront of making that case with charities like Age UK and Independent Age, campaigners from the National Pensioners Convention and the Labour Party.
The truth highlighted is that our oldest citizens are some of the most vulnerable.
Over 1.6 million over-75s are disabled and nearly a third live in poverty or just above the poverty line.
Some 2.2 million over-75s live entirely alone and four out of 10 older people say that TV is their main source of company.
Age UK’s new research shows that over 40% of over-75s will have to cut back on either food or heating in order to keep their TV if they lose their free licence.
This weekend I wrote to Theresa May asking her to consider whether she wants her Government to be remembered for asking seniors to choose if they want to be hungry and cold, or lose the comfort of their television.
The loss to the older generation will be the Government’s gain.
By making pensioners pay the licence the Government will save £745million.
That’s on top of £220million in savings the Government will make by changes to pension credit – nearly £1billion taken from the pockets of seniors.
Officially, responsibility for the free TV licence and the consultation which ends tomorrow (TUES) belongs to the BBC after the Government handed the dirty work of austerity over to our national broadcaster.
But everyone now knows the truth – that the Tories, during the last election, pledged to maintain the free TV licence benefit and are now going back on their word and betraying millions.
In the years to come we are likely to see some of our oldest, poorest and most vulnerable dragged before the courts for non-payment of the licence fee.
If they are, I would suggest they use the Tory manifesto of 2017 in the case for the defence.