Lifeboats get taxed by Ofcom
The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) is a charity that rescues leisure and professionals water users when they are in distress.
The organizational, formed in 1824, receives no public funding at all and runs the rescue service on public donations.
However, one small benefit the charity has receive from the state, until now, was free use of part of the radio spectrum for use for their VHF radio system.
However, Ofcom has been charged, under the Communications Act 2003, to make the most economic use of the very limited radio frequencies.
It already charges the police for TETRA, and the Ministry of Defence and other government departments for uses of the radio frequencies by the NHS Ambulance and fire services.
Whilst the efficient use of the radio spectrum is a laudable goal, and will potentially introduce wireless broadband services (WiMax), the cost to the RNLI is estimated at 250,000 a year.
Ofcom is legally bound to charge for radio frequencies and this is set to bring in considerable revenue to government - or taxes as we call them! You can find out more about this at Digital Dividend Sale: possible services - ukfree.tv - independent digital television and switchover advice, since 2002 .
There is a petition at http://www.freernliradio.com/.
More here: ofcom rnli - Google News