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British Government Considers Tax on Computers

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:23 PM

Don't mean to turn the hangout section to the forum about UK, but here's an interesting article I have come accross:

"THE BBC licence fee should be replaced by a tax on the ownership of a personal computer instead of a television, ministers said yesterday.

Tessa Jowell told the BBC that the licence fee would be retained for at least another ten years until 2017 in return for abolishing the Board of Governors. But the Culture Secretary conceded that technological advances would mean that a fee based on “television ownership could become redundant”.

More than six million households have access to high-speed broadband connections and the BBC has begun experimenting with broadcasting video clips over the internet.

A legal loophole highlighted by the communications regulator Ofcom means that viewers could watch television and listen to radio over the internet and mobile devices free, potentially costing the BBC millions of pounds in licence fees. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Green Paper setting out the BBC’s long-term future proposed a solution that could end the traditional fee.The paper suggested “either a compulsory levy on all households or even on ownership of PCs as well as TVs”. It said that technology might render it difficult to collect and enforce the fee."

The original version can be found here

#2 QuirkDesign


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Posted 06 March 2005 - 04:41 PM

I'm not surprised. Reminds me of an initiative to tax email in the U.S. a while ago. Not sure whay happened with that, I guess it died (thankfully). It's always about money.

#3 illumina



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Posted 06 March 2005 - 05:29 PM

When I was in England I never agreed with the BBC licensing fee. The BBC is ad free, which was their "basis" for charging the license fee. This proposal is outrageous, I'll be shocked if the British public take this without at least a complaint.

#4 pentool


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Posted 06 March 2005 - 10:57 PM

It's always about money.

No. It's always about certain individuals, who regardless how much power and money they have, it's just never enough for them.

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