Why are we paying twice?

The Guardian has an interesting article questioning why we in the UK are effectively paying twice for data that is collected by government agencies.

I would be inclined to take this question one step further, and ask why I’m also paying twice if I want to keep content that has been created by the BBC.

Having paid for the BBC’s content to be produced via the television licence why do I have to pay again if I want to purchase a copy on DVD, video or CD? Of course I expect there to be a charge for the media itself, but why can’t I telephone the BBC’s consumer sales department, give them my address (so they can confirm that I own a TV licence) and get a copy at a subsidised price?

Unfortunately there’s nobody that I can really lobby about this, because although the TV licence fee is effectively a tax on owning a television in the UK, I have no means of influencing the operation of the BBC itself. I suppose I could write to “Points of View“, but that’s hardly the same as being able to vote for the membership of the Board of Directors. Didn’t someone once say something about no taxation without representation?

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