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A Tax on Computers


ellis rowell 15 2.0k United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 2:01AM
There was recent talk about computers having to have a Television licence.

This raises several questions. As most people already have a TV licence which covers multiple sets in one residence, is it going to be a separate licence. The argument is that internet computers can receive TV programs over the internet (as different to a TV tuner card). This will no doubt raise the demand for the BBC licence to be discontinued. Perhaps the printer manufacturers will bring out models which do not require a computer but would be able to display and manipulate pictures so that you can do all the jobs which you now do with the computer but would not be internet connected.

How does Mr Blair reconcile this with the government wanting everyone to have computers. I think they need to talk to each other. Are students and the elderly to be denied access to a computer because of the tax. It doesn't make sense and it's threatening our way of life with these websites.

Let's have your opinions.

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chris.maddock 18 3.7k United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 2:32AM
The sensible way, if they insist on this, as I see it would be to simply extend the current TV licence to create a combined TV and computer licence - with one licence covering all TVs (as at present) and all computers at one address.
Laptop PCs taken outside the home address would be covered by the current portable TV clause.
No need to cause any effective change, except to people who have computers but no TV at present.

Of course, that is making an enormous assumption - that governments are capable of making a sensible decision Wink

KRs
Chris
cambirder 15 7.2k England
20 Mar 2005 2:32AM
I think this sugestion (and it is no more than that)was that because people can use their computers to listen to radio, and in the future will be able to watch TV over broadband, that many people would no longer own a TV and do everything over the internet, which of cause does not need a tuner, so will not require a licence.

If the BBC is still to be funded this way after 2017, then the idea is to have a licence that covers both methods of reception. This would not mean that you would require a single licence regardless of how many PC's / TV's you have in a household.
spacey 15 376
20 Mar 2005 4:07AM
Rubbish !
the chancelor has a 11 billion black hole in his spending plans, this is another NL stealth tax, he sat in his office thinking how can I screw even more money out of the country, the first thing he saw was his pc, hey presto everybody has a pc, tax them !, sounds silly doesn,t it but it's closer to the truth than you will ever get from any media source.
keithh 16 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
20 Mar 2005 4:17AM
Idle chat becomes Treasury policy...LOL...the EPZ forum's gone tabloid.
SuziBlue 17 16.2k 10 Scotland
20 Mar 2005 4:24AM
Must admit it does seem that when something takes off and really works - 'they' make you pay for it ('they' being anyone with a mind mean enough to want to screw as much money out of the public as possible.)

Look at the money people making from selling domain names .. don't get me started ..

But back on topic (I see the flashing lights of the OT police on the horizon .. (hehe) it will certainly price people OUT of getting their computer up and running. I know plenty of elderly people who get such joy and satisfaction from being able to contact people and kindle new interests, and they won't be able to afford to splash out on more tax without cutting back on something else. And before anyone jumps on my back, no NOT ALL elderly people are on the breadline. But many are. (/rant)

8-]
cambirder 15 7.2k England
20 Mar 2005 4:35AM

Quote:sounds silly doesn,t it but it's closer to the truth than you will ever get from any media source


I'm much more inclined to rely on the media (in this case the Times) than the Tory propaganda you are spouting spacey
mdpontin 15 6.0k Scotland
20 Mar 2005 5:13AM
If this is true I wouldn't be entirely surprised.

Our IT support guy at the office warned me recently that if I was going to buy a widescreen digital monitor for my computer, I might end up having to pay for a licence, as it could be considered to be part of a television system. I admit I didn't take him too seriously at the time.

There have also been stories about some states in the US considering introducing a tax on online music purchases.

I'm afraid it seems clear enough that governments are always on the lookout for new ways to raise tax revenue.

Doug
tim franklin 16 2.7k
20 Mar 2005 5:29AM

Quote:Idle chat becomes Treasury policy...LOL...the EPZ forum's gone tabloid.


The old adage "never look for a complicated answer when a simple one will do" seems quite appropriate.
c_evans99 16 7.0k 1 Wales
20 Mar 2005 5:31AM
Hmm, am I alone in not begrudging the TV licence fee? Mainstream TV's become fairly shoddy, but Little Britain's been worth 100 anyday - add in some great radio stations, the websites, regional news and sport, and magazines and it's much better value than the 300 I pay Sky each year.

Ceri
tim franklin 16 2.7k
20 Mar 2005 5:40AM
TV license fee is one thing, and liveable with. But taxing computers on the grounds that they can be used to receive TV broadcasts (even if they aren't, and the owner doesn't have a telly) is something else entirely.
cambirder 15 7.2k England
20 Mar 2005 6:12AM

Quote:TV license fee is one thing, and liveable with. But taxing computers on the grounds that they can be used to receive TV broadcasts (even if they aren't, and the owner doesn't have a telly) is something else entirely.


In practice the only way they could do it is base it on the internet connection rather than the computer. While most of us are restricted to 2mbs or less then this is not going to be an issue. In 15 years time we may all be on 1gb connections and anything is possible. On the other hand global warming will have overtaken us, the world ecconomy may have collapsed and we are all back to the stone age
ellis rowell 15 2.0k United Kingdom
20 Mar 2005 8:45AM
"Our IT support guy at the office warned me recently that if I was going to buy a widescreen digital monitor for my computer, I might end up having to pay for a licence, as it could be considered to be part of a television system. I admit I didn't take him too seriously at the time."

I think he was confusing the import tax, which is now levied on all digital monitors as they can be connected directly to a VCR.

I used to use an RGB Monitor with a VCR years ago, as a second TV, for when my wife wanted to watch something different.
mdpontin 15 6.0k Scotland
20 Mar 2005 8:52AM
Could well be so, Ellis. I must admit I wasn't fully paying attention at the time he was talking to me.

If I were in the market for a digital monitor it would take more than that to dissuade me in any case. However, my next computer, like my present one, will be an iMac - digital monitor, but as part of an all-in-one system.

Doug
spacey 15 376
20 Mar 2005 9:45AM
TV is funded by the license, the internet is not !


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