The Isle of Man Government’s decision to give free licenses for Manx residents aged over 75 doesn’t go far enough, according to the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance, and should be extended to all residents, regardless of age.
“Currently, Manx residents are slugged with a regressive, unfair and retrograde tax in the form of TV licenses. The Government should stop forcing Manx residents to fund the British Broadcasting Corporation through this regressive tax,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Currently, Manx residents are slugged at least three times to fund media outlets:
- Many Manx residents are forced to pay for the British Broadcasting Corporation through the TV license system.
- Then, all Manx taxpayers are slugged a second time to fund the annual direct subvention to Manx Radio.
- Then, all Manx taxpayers are slugged a third time to fund Government advertising on various media outlets.
Out of date system
A hundred years ago, it was plausible to fund the BBC through this unfair and regressive system due to technological limitations. Over the ensuing century, nations like Canada, Australia and New Zealand have removed similarly unfair taxes, and the people of the Isle of Man should be treated similarly. If the BBC wants to take such unfair fees from Manx residents, they should bill consenting customers in the same way as almost every other organisation in the nation.
Under the current regressive tax on live broadcast television in the Isle of Man, millions of pounds are taken out of the Manx economy and sent to the United Kingdom every year, according to Transceltic.com. Such a regressive tax imposes a higher burden, proportionally, on the poorest members of the Manx community.
Manx journalist, Sam Turton, said that under the current arrangements, the people of the Isle of Man “are getting a worse deal than anyone else in the British Isles.”
Part of Scotland
Last week, the BBC announced that Douglas, Isle of Man, was part of Scotland.
“If the BBC thinks the City of Douglas is in Scotland, they should send their aggressive letters there, instead of sending them to the Isle of Man,” said Josem.