Labour leader Keir Starmer is backing calls to save free TV licences for people over 75.
Millions face losing the benefit and paying £157.50 from August after the Tories broke a manifesto pledge.
The curb was due to come into force on June 1 but was delayed by two months due to Covid-19.
Campaigners hope the Government and BBC can strike a deal to save the lifeline – with a minister due to be quizzed in Parliament today.
Mr Starmer, who had a haircut at his local barbers on Saturday, to show Britain is open for business again, said: “TV has been essential for many of our older population during the crisis.
“Hundreds of thousands will struggle to pay this. The idea you could take away so many people’s connection to the outside world is cruel.
“It’s not good enough for the Government to pass the buck and blame the BBC.”
The Conservatives pledged at the 2017 election to protect free licences for the rest of that Parliament, which was due to run until 2022.
But the BBC had been given responsibility for funding the lifeline from June 2020, under a deal agreed in 2015.
It says keeping licences free will cost £745million by 2021-22.
So the corporation is introducing restrictions, meaning only over-75s who receive Pension Credit will be eligible. An estimated 3.7 million OAPs are due to miss out.
The Mirror is fighting to permanently save the benefit, with over 18,000 readers backing it.
Silver Voices director Dennis Reed said: “ Boris Johnson will no longer be able to wash his hands of the affair.”
Bectu broadcasting union head Philippa Childs said: “The Government must now reconsider its position.”
The BBC has said it is keeping the scheme’s introduction “under review”, adding: “The Board will announce its decision this month.” The PM has urged it to “cough up” and save free licences.