RNLI radio license fees

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roger
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RNLI radio license fees

Post by roger » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:45 am

Taken from another website but think we should support this
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Several websites (including Whitstable YC - http://www.wyc.org see Forum for background and details) have picked up the proposal that could lead the RNLI having to pay prohibitive license fees for their radios.

I spoke to the Whitstable RNLI and asked whether there really might be a problem or whether this was a storm in a teacup. They said definitely yes, there could be a problem and asked us all to petition Gordo at No10. That rather appealed to me so I did at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/RNLI-RF-licences/

So please support the RNLI and sign the petition - it is really easy


See also http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/RNLI-RF-licences/
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Michael Brigg » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:48 pm

Hmm...


££££££££££Image££££££££££

I wonder what HM gordon Gov is up to. The man with a plan has introduced more stealth tax than anyone in history, and the art is to lay down the legislative powers first so that the opposition cant stop you. The NHS reforms in the last few years for example had the legislative powers laid down in white papers published about 10 years before they happened. It was all slipped in under our noses in impenetrable legalese. (para 2 subsection ii)a:- ..and all that sort of stuff etc)

We all remember how a vindictive Labour Government brought in a punitive 25% "Luxury band VAT" on pleasure boating when Edward Heath was having a new built Morning Cloud delivered, and nearly killed of our pleasure boat building industry in the process as the price for this bit of nastiness. However I do not think in this case that the RNLI is the fish he wants to fry, and I am sure they will escape at this point unless they want to nationalise the coastguard. I can't see them making much income from the rescue services even if they did charge salvage fees for rescue. That in itself is a frightening enough prospect to make the RNLI worth preserving as an independent charity under any circumstances even if for example, it cost more on our yacht club subscriptions etc by way of a special levy. (Which would seem to me probably the best way of raising cash for a vital service.) I am not sure either wether the RNLI derive an agreed income by way of a levy from commercial shipping and port authorities, private or otherwise, but this would also seem sensible and better than a government run system with all the prospects of regulation that would bring.

So where is the real cash cow that this stalking horse is after? How much tax do we pay on mobile phone calls and texts? Nothing??

Call me paranoid but I'll bet thats due to change!

Time to tell the Daily Mail that Gordon is planning to tax our children's toys!
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by neil » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:20 pm

and before we get into more gnashing of teeth can I direct you to the OFCOM website

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/media/features/rnliradio
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Ancient Geek » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:22 pm

Just think on this.
Has the RNLI ever lied to you?
Have you ever heard anything rationaly bad about the RNLI?
Have the Government or any of its angencies misled or lied to you?
Have you ever heard anything bad about Government agencies?
I rest my case.
Keep lobbying by all means you can.
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by JimC » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:15 am

neil wrote:and before we get into more gnashing of teeth can I direct you to the OFCOM website
Speaking of someone who works for (local) government I would say that means almost nothing...

roger
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by roger » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:43 pm

Had this response from No 10

Read the Government’s response
Although this petition is not due to close until 8 October 2009, Ofcom have contacted the Prime Minister’s office, and asked that we publish the following clarification:

Ofcom has been consulting on introducing spectrum pricing to the aeronautical and maritime sectors. We are doing this because radio spectrum is a scarce and valuable resource and lots of different users want to use it. It’s important that it is managed as efficiently as possible, because then society as a whole can get the most out of the finite amount available.

One of the ways that we try to achieve this is by charging users for the spectrum - or airwaves - they use. This already includes a huge array of public and private sector users, including MOD, NHS, ambulance, police and taxi firms. But we recognise the special position of safety of life charities, which is why they receive a 50 per cent discount on their current fees.

What we are proposing in the maritime case is simply to change the ways fees are worked out so that they aren’t based on the admin costs of issuing a licence, but on how much spectrum is used. Under our proposals the RNLI might actually pay less than they do now. We estimate that they could pay around £20,000 compared to the £40,000 that they currently pay.

The consultation closed at the end of last month. Ofcom will now take stock of the responses, and any updates will be posted on the Ofcom website (http://www.ofcom.org.uk).
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:13 pm

As Anthony Jay said in the words of one of his characters in "Yes Prime Minister" - "Weazel words and ministerial cookoo spit."
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Rupert » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:24 pm

Why? I'm not exactly a fan of politicians, but if the facts in the statement are true, what is the problem?
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:51 pm

Because they won't be!
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Michael Brigg » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:51 pm

My old Tutor in the 1980's repeatedly would say: "The trouble is Michael, that we live in a Banana republic!" I think by this he was referring to the manner in which the the administration of Mrs T would use tactics of Dictatorship to dole out to the Miners what the vocational "proffesional classes" are getting from Gordon & co today. (Watch out Teaching, he's after you next.)

Three rules of Dictatorship are Control of Movement:- Curfew and Travel permits.
Control of Communication:- Censorship and secrecy
Control of Liberty:- Licencing and regulation

Perhaps Gordon is at heart a sailing traditionalist attempting to return us to the days of East is East ,West is West referred to by David in the thread of that name.

Movement of Boats restricted again by expense of transport, what with Green tax on the SUV/4WD towing vehicle, Mileage tax (20p per mile i've heard say), duty on Marine Diesel,

Communication restricted by radio licence and censorship by obfuscation of the facts in Government websites like this one: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/media/features/rnliradio

Liberty to be restricted by regulation (perhaps indirectly through Insurance agencies.) If The RNLI falls into government control to become a nationalised Salvage agency this could happen. I understand the rules in France relating to small craft putting to sea can be pretty draconian.

I realise that Politics like Plastic is regarded as a subject to discuss with caution on this forum and hope my comments are regarded with the tongue in cheek with which they are written.

However,I think this is an opportunity to discuss the (in my opinion) very real advantages of a charity run non politicised RNLI, and the implication that this radio licence regulation and charging might have to the private yachtsman and non charity based sailing clubs. Ours is a sport clearly regarded as a predominantly "patrician" past time will tend not to command the national sympathy if subjected to a stealth tax so we need to keep our wits about us.
Last edited by Michael Brigg on Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Garry R » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:10 am

My late father (keen sailor and with a great respect for the sea having been torpedoed and sunk twice in WWII) said that the reason that the RNLI was not supported financially by the Government was simply that they didn't want to be because they didn't want any level of interfering bureaucracy which would inevitably follow. I think it's worth donating to RNLI simply for that alone!!

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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:13 am

Garry's father was quite right and so is Garry at a time of the year when we remember real heroes -Lifeboats are included- I reheard the Hour long story of the loss of the Penlee Lifeboat, the final bit being the recording of Falmouth Coastguard calling "Penlee Lifeboat" and getting no response and the footnote that the next day widowed mothers were signing papers to permit their underage sons to volunteer for the crew of the new boat. It is a calling and the RNLI and the Lifeboat people do it with such dignity.
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Rupert » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:08 pm

I couldn't agree more about the RNLI needing to stay independant (otherwise I can see the government doing to them what they did to the coastguard) but I can't see how the change in licencing affects that, unless I've missed something in joining this discussion late?
On a different note, I'd not realized that a volunteer coastwatch service had been set up in the mid 90's, to do what the government declared was unnecessary. Anyone know any more about it?
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Michael Brigg » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:23 pm

I think the more suspicious souls amongst us could see the Civil service shooting itslf in the foot. In the stampede to milk the airwaves for a bit of extra cash their proposed new Licencing fees structure could have bankrupted the RNLI, leaving the job to be done by a Public Service Organisation. Wether by Local or National government, this prospect would be a bleak one.

I personally can't see them willingly taking on what would be a poison chalice/millstone for any government popularity. (The RNLI with its long assotiation with the Giles Cartoon series is as English as Boy Scouts and Tea, It would be like shutting down the RSPCA.) So I don't think the RNLI is under any threat unless a private investor with substantial lobbying weight sees the service as a potential for developing a profitable salvage buisiness. That in itself would be difficult in view of Monopoly commission regulations and the international law relating to off shore waters.

The only person with that kind of clout would be someone like Richard Branson, a man who has had to call on the rescue services on more than one occasion!
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Re: RNLI radio license fees

Post by Ed » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:44 pm

Moving slightly off the point....or maybe not...

Have you noticed (why should you?) that for the last 2-3 years all the Beach lifesavers in Cornwall are run by the RNLI.

Is this so for other areas of the UK with supervised beaches? No cost has been spared....they are much better equiped than every before. No longer 20 year old landies but brand new Toyotas, ATBs etc etc

I was very curious how this came about.

Running this operation must be very expensive and was originally covered by local county councils. I couldn't imagine that the RNLI have taken this on for nothing....so money must be going from govt to the RNLI to provide these services. How much....and on what basis....and what conditions this funding comes with....are all good questions.

But I am very aware from my own work, that taking money from the govt (local or central) tends to come with enormous ties...some written, some presumed and keeping true independence becomes harder and harder, even if the amount of funding is only a small part of your overall turnover.

I wonder if the RNLI are all ready some way down the slippery slope.

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