The news that the BBC is to refund monies to the Isle of Man to compensate for services it fails to provide the Manx community could be viewed as a positive gesture.
However, the move probably has more to do with the fact that a Tynwald committee is currently reviewing the TV licence arrangements and the move is therefore most likely a cynical attempt to forestall any moves domestically to hold the Corporation to account.
Any `refund’ of monies from the BBC (news reports suggest one million pounds over `several’ years) would be in the gift of the Corporation and when the dust settles they would undoubtedly return to their previous practice of `ripping-off’ Manx viewers by levying the full fee and providing the same shoddy service.
As the Celtic League said several years ago (see below) the Manx government should take ownership of the situation.
“The obvious solution is of course the one that always eludes successive Manx governments and that is to terminate existing arrangements and renegotiate the agreement so that the Isle of Man government collects the fees and uses part of this sum to support our own National broadcasting. (Celtic News 15/11/03)”
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information