All that is wrong with the world…

February 3, 2012

TV Licenses are not acceptable.

Filed under: Issues...the world...etc.., Travel — Tags: , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 3:11 pm

I find the very concept of a TV license offensive. The idea that you have to pay a license on private property that you own, based purely on the assumption that you will watch a free to air channel that the money from the license funds.

Many people defend the idea because they are thankful for unbiased quality journalism and don’t see any problem. The problem I have is that the license should simply be a tax. At the moment it is a license. Needing a license to operate a harmless and widely available electronic device is fundamentally flawed.

Another problem with this model is the assumption that you will watch the free to air channel that the license funds. Personally I don’t tend to watch free to air TV at all. If I purchased a TV it would be to play console games or perhaps to watch things from my laptop. I wouldn’t use it to watch free to air TV yet in some countries like the UK it is assumed that if you have a TV then you will watch free to air TV, or specifically the BBC. How is that a reasonable assumption.

Some people consider the use of the word license to be just semantics and that the fee is actually a tax. The reason you can’t consider a TV license fee a tax is for 2 reasons. 1) If it were a tax, people would be eligible to get the fee refunded if they could show it shouldn’t apply to them and 2) taxes for the most part don’t tend to be for owning private household items. Taxes go towards services or needs of the larger population. Charging people a fee for owning a TV based on assumed use is not a tax, nor should it be permitted at all.

If I buy something and use it within my home, I shouldn’t have to pay anything on top of that. Not when other people are not affected by my use of my possession. It might seem a trivial thing to write about but I think it indicates a slippery slope. If you allow governments to charge you a fee for owning a TV however it might be justified, how long until they start charging you for owning computers or phones or game consoles?

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9 Comments »

  1. In switzerland, they tax you if you have an internet access, because they assume that you will be watching TV online.
    They tax you anyway for radio services, by default, because nobody has no Radio : They assume you will listen to radio through your alarm clock, through your car radio set, through your teeth brace or whatever.

    Comment by Tourto — February 15, 2012 @ 2:53 am

    • That’s really shitty…I never listen to radio anymore, I don’t drive and don’t listen to it online. It’s a shame to see such policies.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — December 11, 2012 @ 4:36 am

  2. [...] TV Licenses are not acceptable. (allthatiswrong.wordpress.com) [...]

    Pingback by Ireland ! Where People Get Imprisoned For Tv license But Bankers Who Stole Billions Go Scot Free !! « Critical&Political — May 8, 2012 @ 7:59 am

  3. It’s a tax. All licensing fees by governments are taxes. Just a specific category of taxes. To say otherwise it’s just mincing words.

    And I find it offensive, just like I find all licensing and taxes offensive. It’s going to be a hundred of years before the general population will understand what I am talking about, but it will happen eventually.

    Comment by nate-m — May 12, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  4. hmmm thats a hard one really – because the tax is for BBC and not the other channels and so BBC are not tied commercially to anyone hence they are freer to express their opinions, however time is moving on now and perhaps its should be that you had a choice to pay for BBC no doubt they would get less money but then perhaps it means they could lower the costs of what they are spending on big star’s and the board of directors. I mean I love the BBC generally for the education side of things and investigation, its the only channel I watch in fact, and sometimes they do have really good comedies but there golden day has gone, simply because they focus so much on being like everyone else and most of the comedies are not funny any more. to be honest if you have to pay something you want to see what your paying for and you want a choice, because you paid a service and thats whats offensive, I tell you.. we may as well burn all our money for the good it does us!

    Comment by electricbohemian — May 30, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    • The BBC should be supported by a tax, not charging owners of property a fee for using that property in their personal homes.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — December 11, 2012 @ 4:47 am

  5. “Why do I have to pay for things?”

    You’re blog is called “All that’s wrong with the world…”, but this doesn’t seem like a very pressing world issue. I would be willing to go so far as saying that it is trivial, and people like you who fret about it while millions have no access to clean water, food, medical assistance and housing, are one of the biggest problems plaguing the modern world.

    Comment by fartnigger — June 29, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    • “All that’s wrong with the world…” encompasses from the minute to the magnificent. This may be minute, but it is still something wrong with the world.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — December 11, 2012 @ 4:49 am

  6. It’s not a reasonable assumption, which is why http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/what-if-a-tv-licence-is-not-needed-top12/ says:

    “You don’t need a licence if you don’t use any of these devices to watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV – for example, if you use your TV only to watch DVDs or play video games, or you only watch ‘catch up’ services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD.”

    Comment by bcran — July 17, 2012 @ 2:58 am


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