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Old 10.05.2015, 13:03
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Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

This item has been popping up in the Swiss press lately, there will be a referendum on Radio & TV licensing on 14th June.

http://www.blick.ch/news/politik/ref...id3401194.html

The Swiss government (RTVG laws) proposes a change in the collection of TV & Radio licences. At present anyone who owns equipment has to pay the fee. In future every household will be paying a standard fee (and every business with a turnover more than Fr 500,000,-) along with the new system will be a fee reduction of about Fr 60,- per year. The fee will be compulsory even if you live in a cave and have no radio.

Switzerland is a democracy, and there are several people who don't like the idea, and these are speaking out: and we now see the call to "Stopp Billag"
But don't be fooled, Billag will remain, it is just a question of which way you prefer to be screwed: by having a device, or by owning furniture. Several organisations have written stating they do not expect the fee to remain at around Fr 450 and suspect the Swiss TV company SRG will raise the fee as soon as possible,
http://billag-mediensteuer-nein.ch/gegenargumente/
.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 10.05.2015 at 13:41. Reason: added a link
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Old 10.05.2015, 13:14
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

There is also a second more radical initiative under way:

http://www.nobillag.ch

No Billag wants to completely abolish Billag and wants Swiss TV and Radio to pay their own way through advertising and sponsorship, or failing that to fold and good riddance to them.

Right now they are still collecting signatures, so it is not certain that this will ever come to the vote.

Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, there has been an almost total blackout on reporting on this on SRG and the other channels they control. They are nevertheless already bracing themselves for the shock and are apparently removing the exemption that existed hitherto excluding senior Billag staff from having to pay.

Of course I can see certain posters on this forum are going to be defending Billag down to the last man.
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Old 10.05.2015, 13:22
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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This item has been popping up in the Swiss press lately, there will be a referendum on Radio & TV licensing on 14th June.

http://www.blick.ch/news/politik/ref...id3401194.html

The Swiss government (RTVG laws) proposes a change in the collection of TV & Radio licences. At present anyone who owns equipment has to pay the fee. In future every household will be paying a standard fee (and every business with a turnover more than Fr 500,000,-) along with the new system will be a fee reduction of about Fr 60,- per year. The fee will be compulsory even if you live in a cave and have no radio.

Switzerland is a democracy, and there are several people who don't like the idea, and these are speaking out: and we now see the call to "Stopp Billag"
But don't be fooled, Billag will remain, it is just a question of which way you prefer to be screwed: by having a device, or by owning furniture. Several organisations have written stating they do not expect the fee to remain at around Fr 450 and suspect the Swiss TV company SRG will raise the fee as soon as possible.
The CHF60 has presumably be calculated as the minimum sweetener required to get the majority of people to vote for it.

So how will the new law be worded? Is there a draft yet? I'm intrigued to see how they can formulate it so that the new Universal Billag doesn't just look like a new tax.
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Old 10.05.2015, 13:23
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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.... They are nevertheless already bracing themselves for the shock and are apparently removing the exemption that existed hitherto excluding senior Billag staff from having to pay.
I never knew that, that is a terrible privilege!
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Old 10.05.2015, 13:41
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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The CHF60 has presumably be calculated as the minimum sweetener required to get the majority of people to vote for it.

So how will the new law be worded? Is there a draft yet? I'm intrigued to see how they can formulate it so that the new Universal Billag doesn't just look like a new tax.
Unless there is going to be a massive dumbing down campaign from the pro Bilag side, I don't see them pulling this off.
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Old 10.05.2015, 13:44
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

voting-14-6-2015-about-new-financing-billag-billag_quiz.jpg
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Old 10.05.2015, 13:47
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

Will diplomats continue to be exempt?
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Old 10.05.2015, 13:48
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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(...)
They are nevertheless already bracing themselves for the shock and are apparently removing the exemption that existed hitherto excluding senior Billag staff from having to pay.
(...)
Don't worry. What One Hand Taketh Away, The Other Hand Giveth.
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Old 11.05.2015, 20:04
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

Having gone through this transition in Finland recently, perhaps I can weigh in.



From what I understand, our system was almost identical to the current Swiss one. If you had a TV receiver in any form you had to pay a "tv license." That's an old term actually but everyone still uses it. License inspectors would then visit unlicensed (and unsuspecting) households. The funny part was that you weren't actually required to let them in. The only way to get busted was to do like my friend did by answering the door with the remote in his hand. Twice.



This inspection system was wildly inefficient and it was even rumored that the fees collected from license dodgers barely covered the cost of the inspectors. Eventually the fee was converted to a tax. I think the payment is based on income, I haven't actually checked. The only time I ever notice it is in the annual tax forms where it's reported.



So as long as you want to have a publicly funded tv and radio service I think taxation is the way to go. The downside is that even people without any receivers will also pay the tax but chances are that they still benefit from the news or other services that these public broadcasters provide. For instance the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE has a fantastic streaming service called Areena and all of their programs are available there for a limited time. Some are even broadcasted live online.
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Old 11.05.2015, 20:11
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

I read somewhere that the Billag fee will soon be VAT exempt! Hope this is so.
I would join the close Billag group if it comes to a vote.
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:37
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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I read somewhere that the Billag fee will soon be VAT exempt! Hope this is so.
But this would mean a 2.5% decrease in quality of the TV programmes, wouldn't it?
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:39
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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Having gone through this transition in Finland recently, perhaps I can weigh in.

From what I understand, our system was almost identical to the current Swiss one. If you had a TV receiver in any form you had to pay a "tv license." That's an old term actually but everyone still uses it. License inspectors would then visit unlicensed (and unsuspecting) households. The funny part was that you weren't actually required to let them in. The only way to get busted was to do like my friend did by answering the door with the remote in his hand. Twice.

This inspection system was wildly inefficient and it was even rumored that the fees collected from license dodgers barely covered the cost of the inspectors. Eventually the fee was converted to a tax. I think the payment is based on income, I haven't actually checked. The only time I ever notice it is in the annual tax forms where it's reported.

So as long as you want to have a publicly funded tv and radio service I think taxation is the way to go. The downside is that even people without any receivers will also pay the tax but chances are that they still benefit from the news or other services that these public broadcasters provide. For instance the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE has a fantastic streaming service called Areena and all of their programs are available there for a limited time. Some are even broadcasted live online.
druid, I know that this is not germane to this thread, but your command of English is astounding. You can't be Finnish, surely?
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:49
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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But this would mean a 2.5% decrease in quality of the TV programmes, wouldn't it?
I'v heard its cheaper to buy a license in Germany.

I'm not sure how to go about getting back the VAT at the border though
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:53
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

One day, radio waves and internet traffic will be allowed to move freely within the EU, just like with Schengen. Mark my words.
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:56
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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One day, radio waves and internet traffic will be allowed to move freely within the EU, just like with Shengen. Mark my words.
Nah, there's going to be no renegotiation of Schengen. Never ever. That's a fact.
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Old 11.05.2015, 22:41
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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druid, I know that this is not germane to this thread, but your command of English is astounding. You can't be Finnish, surely?


Why not? Are my countrymen incomprehensible (ok I know the race car drivers are)?



Yes I'm Finnish and we can continue via PM if you like.
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Old 11.05.2015, 22:46
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

I would happily vote for the abolition of Billag... Swiss TV and radio is absolute dross anyway.
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Old 11.05.2015, 22:47
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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Why not? Are my countrymen incomprehensible (ok I know the race car drivers are)?



Yes I'm Finnish and we can continue via PM if you like.
About "Are my countrymen incomprehensible" No, but your language is; I once spent a very long time in a multi-storey car park in Helsinki trying to find a sign that looked in any way similar to "exit".
Eventually I found the way - I think the word had included the letters ööö
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Old 12.05.2015, 12:08
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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About "Are my countrymen incomprehensible" No, but your language is; I once spent a very long time in a multi-storey car park in Helsinki trying to find a sign that looked in any way similar to "exit".
Eventually I found the way - I think the word had included the letters ööö
No wonder you had trouble. The signs typically look like this



No 'ööö' in them (or in any word). On a more serious note, why did you expect to see the word exit?
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Old 12.05.2015, 12:42
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Re: Voting on 14.6.2015 about new financing for Billag

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No wonder you had trouble. The signs typically look like this



No 'ööö' in them (or in any word). On a more serious note, why did you expect to see the word exit?
Maybe I drove out of the entrance?
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