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Subject: Re: UKNM: Re: 324 tax on digital TV?
From: Phil Gyford
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 20:37:08 +0100

At 19:21 10/08/1999 +0100, you wrote:
> >I'd say the license fee as it stands is incredibly unfair and should be
> >means-tested in some practical way,
>I don't think there is anything wrong with the licence fee as it stands,
>other than perhaps a need to reduce it by at least 50% for blind and deaf TV

I think that's one of the proposals.

>How come it's okay to subsidise "public-service TV" (whatever that means)
>when British coal mining, for instance, is destroyed rather than cushion a
>short-term price depression? Come the next oil crisis or nuclear reactor
>disaster I'd rather have a thriving fossil fuel industry, than an army of
>state-sponsored TV executives.

I'm not going to debate the benefits or otherwise of subsidising coal
mining, but comparing the two isn't particularly helpful. Apples, oranges.

>Of course, the coal industry did not have access to unlimited free TV
>advertising to fight it's corner in the 80s, unlike the BBC, which certainly
>spares no expense to tell us what good use it makes of our money.

I partly agree with you but I'm cursed with this annoying ability to see
both sides of an argument, and doubt the amount of money spent on
self-promotion is proportionately that large. Plus I think the BBC has a
right to remind people what their money goes towards. At least some of the
ads are entertaining: witness the popularity of that Small People kids' TV
ad, and the current one about "We're as curious about the world as you are"
is wonderfully put together.

>By what right does a British government impose such a charge anyway?

I seem to remember some kind of election a couple of years ago.

>Murdoch may well be an ugly rich bastard, but is that any reason to impose a
>commercial fine of 24 per customer on Sky Digital? And why can't I have 24
>for everyone who opens a freeserve account? I would be happy to provide
>minority web content as part of the deal.

Don't think you're onto a winner there Ray, seeing as 'minority web
content', like the rest of it, is available free. Oh, but that's probably
somewhere you should have used a smiley isn't it. It's hard to tell sometimes.

>The question of whether you like BBC programmes better than ITV or not is
>irrelevant. TV is now such a huge market that there really is no need for
>the taxpayer / licence fee payer to pay any more for it.

I think whether one likes BBC programmes or not is fairly relevant if we're
talking about whether the licence fee is worth it or not, but maybe that's
an old fashioned view of quality and value for money.

Phil, arguing for the sake of it and avoiding the point.

Phil Gyford
philatgyford [dot] com - icq:3794783 - h:01376.513238 - w:0171.766.6491
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  Re: UKNM: Re: 324 tax on digital TV?, Ray Taylor

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