Digital Rip-off

Charles West, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham, today criticised the Government’s proposals for Digital Britain.

“First they want to put a tax on every telephone bill, then they want to take money from the BBC to support independent television companies, and finally they want us to throw away all our radio sets and buy new digital ones,” said Dr West.

“The roll out of digital television has not been as smooth, as easy or as cheap as the Government told us it would be. Many of our more rural residents can either get no signal at all, or can only get Welsh stations. Digital radio is a much bigger problem. Digital radio is often of lower quality than FM and has poorer reception. If the government have their way we shall all have to throw away all our current radios: car radios, clock radios, the radio in the kitchen or in personal stereos. Over 200 million radios are to be scrapped so that the government can auction off the FM waveband to new broadcasters.”

“The proposals for a tax on every telephone bill are not much better. It will not raise enough to provide what the government is promising, and risks confusing public and private investment. Some things are better left to the private sector. The levy of £6 per year for every telephone line, would raise £150-£175 million per year, but estimates for taking fibre to every home are more like £27,000 million.”

For more information contact:
Charles West
Parliamentary Candidate: Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Democrats
3 Bellstone,
Shrewsbury
SY1 1HU
tel:   07775 800744

Background:
Digital Britain – the future of communications released 16th June 2009-06-17
http://www.culture.gov.uk/what_we_do/broadcasting/6216.aspx

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