Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No more Radio & TV Licence Taxes

Radio & TV licence taxes was originally used to fund public broadcasting so that public broadcasters can transmit programmes with or without funding from commercials. Back then the only public broadcasting station was known as Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Even with such taxes, there were quite a lot of commercial show on the air then.

In the 1 January 1994, SBC went fully privatised and changed it's name to Television Corporation of Singapore aka TCS. In 2001 it became what we currently know now as MediaCorp TV. You can read more of Singapore TV history over at wiki.

Radio & TV license taxes are impose every year on every household in Singapore which is around SGD $100 a year regardless they watched the local TV station or listening to local radio station or not. Even with the choice of paid cable TV, such taxes continuing on.

With the demand of such taxes, it is only fair for the public to demand the quality of the show being produced. As many paid for cable TV, viewers had a choice to watch other station they paid for. Regardless, the taxes still was impose on every household as the "public station" (which the station already privatized)  was given to them through cable.

Malaysia on the other hand, abolished the TV license at the end of 1999.

Finally in 2011 budget, Singapore announced to do away radio and TV licenses tax as they were "losing their relevance"... After so long... better late than never.

2 Comments:

khengsiong said...

Does it have anything to do with the upcoming general election?

LEon said...

good question. That would be maybe.