On the 23rd January 2016 (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2016/01/23/uk-government-policy-lets-tax-the-poorest-at-twice-the-rate-we-tax-the-rich/) the British Gazette lambasted the government on the subject of the Poll Tax to finance the state broadcasting organisation, the BBC. We left it at that however. We stopped short of offering a solution.
Well here it is.
Before going into detail about financing the state broadcasting organisation a question MUST be asked. It is this: SHOULD taxpayer’s money be used to support a state broadcasting organisation ?
There are many British Gazette readers who will shout, “No!”
Many would be quite happy to see the BBC shut down and it’s assets (property, both real and intellectual) sold off by a liquidator.
The British Gazette’s answer: Yes” We agree with the readers that the state broadcasting organisation is a politically correct propaganda machine for the condescending liberal elite. We the world a different place, we would have answered “No!” but be answer “Yes!” because the world is the way it is. And we cannot change it. Much as many want to!
“OK then,” we hear you retort, “How so?”
Well the problem lies “across the pond”. The USA is the largest country in what is now known as “the Anglo-sphere” or to use the phrase used in less politically correct times, “the English speaking world.”
A quick Google will reveal that the United States of America had a population of 318.9 million in 2014, whereas the United Kingdom had a population of 64.1 million in 2013. Add Canada whose population in 2013 was 35.16 million, Australia whose population in 2013 was 23.13 million and New Zealand whose population in 2013 was 4.471 million and lastly but by no means least, the Republic of Ireland whose population in 2013 was 4.595 million, we have a total population of 450.356 million for the Anglo-sphere. This means that the UK’s population represents just over 14% of this.
What these statistics illustrate is this: Any businessman looking to make a profit from a TV drama will look at the whole of the market for his venture. That is 450,356,000 people. This means the centre of gravity in cultural terms will be the USA. In other words, if a government were to decide not to maintain a state broadcasting organisation it would be handing over a considerable part of the cultural development of the nation to the USA. So, for those who answered “No!” Ask yourselves another question: Do you want this?
Assuming you do not, we will now turn our attention to the financing of the state broadcasting organisation.
When formulating a tax – for that is what we are talking about – we should apply certain principles. It should be fair. That means it should be progressive. Progressive is a term used to describe that poor people pay little or non and rich people pay more and on what most would call, “a sliding scale”. The second principle is that the costs of collecting same should be low – in proportion to the tax raised. Then there is a third principle. That private persons or businesses should not profit from being tax collectors. Indeed, the Bible refers to this for the Romans contracted out the business of collecting taxes to private individuals who took their own slice of the taxes collected. Just like Capita Business Services Limited today!
So, what is the British Gazette’s proposal?
THIS: That Parliament should – as it does now – from time to time assess the level of expenditure that should be directed towards the state broadcasting organisation. But that this should be collected by those local authorities throughout the UK which levy a Council Tax. That a contribution to the state broadcasting organisation should be applied as an addition to the council tax in the same way as those additions for the Fire Service and the Police. It could be called “The Broadcasting Levy.”
What this would mean is this:
Council Tax is levied on this basis: Each dwelling is allocated to one of eight bands coded by letters A to H (A to I in Wales) on the basis of its assumed capital value (as of 1 April 1991 in England and Scotland, 1 April 2003 in Wales). Newly constructed properties are also assigned a nominal 1991 (2003 for Wales) value. Each local authority sets a tax rate expressed as the annual levy on a Band D property inhabited by two liable adults. This decision automatically sets the amounts levied on all types of households and dwellings.
So, what does the British Gazette suggest?
Well let us look at England. Sorry Wales! Below is the sort of figures people pay currently.
Band ~ Value (relative to 1991 prices) ~ Ratio as % ~ Average (£)
A ~ up to £40,000 ~ 67% ~ £845
B ~ £40,001 to £52,000 ~ 78% ~ £986
C ~ £52,001 to £68,000 ~ 89% ~ £1,127
D ~ £68,001 to £88,000 ~ 100% ~ £1,268
E ~ £88,001 to £120,000 ~ 122% ~ £1,550
F ~ £120,001 to £160,000 ~ 144% ~ £1,832
G ~ £160,001 to £320,000 ~ 167% ~ £2,113
H ~ £320,001 and above ~ 200% ~ £2,536
A standard colour TV Licence costs £145.50. Therefore applying the weighting across Bands A to H we have this (rounded up/down to 50 pence). The lower figure in brackets is the amount with the 25% Single Person’s Allowance applied:
A ~ £97.50 (£73.13)
B ~ £113.50 (£85.13)
C ~ £129.50 (£97.13)
D ~ £145.50 (£109.13)
E ~ £177.50 (£133.13)
F ~ £209.50 (£157.13)
G ~ £243.00 (£182.25)
H ~ £291.00 (£218.25)
NB: The most numerous category of those offenders convicted of failing to purchase a TV Licence are single mothers living in Band A properties. These ladies would have their tax reduced by about half.
Declaration of Interest: The Editor lives in a Band A property and receives the single occupancy discount. His tax would also be reduced by half.