THE decision to revoke the over-75s TV licence exemption has been blasted by elected members in the Wee County.

Announced earlier this month, the move sparked fury up and down country, with those over 75 likely to begin paying the £154 annual fee as of next year.

A number of petitions have since surfaced with more than 170,000 people signing up to one at the time of writing.

There are more than 4,100 people over the age of 75 living in Clacks, according to the most recent statistics.

Keith Brown, SNP MSP for Clacks, criticised the decision, highlighting that it broke the 2017 Conservative Party manifesto promise to "maintain" benefits for older people, "including free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences, for the duration of this parliament".

He called on Luke Graham, Conservative MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, to oppose the change in policy.

The MSP said: "This Tory cut is just the latest in a long line of attacks on Scottish pensioners and will have the effect of making over-75s in Clackmannanshire £154.50 worse off than they should be.

"It is completely unacceptable that older people in Scotland continue to bear the brunt of Tory cuts to welfare, with reforms hitting pensioners in their pockets.

"We often hear of the much lauded "influence" Scottish Tory MPs have in Westminster – Luke Graham should oppose this cut which will make over-75s in his constituency poorer."

In response, Mr Graham hit back, stating that it was a BBC decision rather than a Conservative one, but did go on to express his "disappointment" at the situation.

He said: "Keith Brown shouldn't be recklessly misleading the public like this; it was a BBC decision, not the government's.

"He should focus more on ensuring his party's administration in Holyrood deliver on the services that are currently failing under their watch.

"However, I too was disappointed to see the BBC had decided to remove free TV licenses for over 75s. While this is a decision that has been taken by the BBC, if the BBC is not funding this going forward I hope the funding can be used in local community investments to engage the over 75s.

"I also support the proposal where low-income households where one person receives the pension credit benefit will still be eligible for a free licence, so that the most vulnerable in our society are still protected."

Alex Rowley, Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: "People who have given all their lives and paid their TV licence all their lives are surely not the people to attack by ending their accesses to a free TV licence.

"This shows the true face of conservatism and why people cannot trust the Tories.

"I have asked Mrs May to think again and change this decision before she leaves office.

"I think it is important that we stand up to attacks on both the welfare and wellbeing of older people, and I hope others will also lobby their MPs and the government to do the same."