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Thursday, December 14, 2017

UK’s lifeboats need your help to quash crippling new charges

British lifeboat crews fear being scuppered by crippling new charges for using their radios - charges to be levied by Ofcom, the U.K.’s communications regulator. Ofcom has set out plans to bring 'market forces' into maritime and civil aviation communications in a policy it calls Administered Incentive Pricing.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) can see the price of using its VHF emergency frequencies rise to £250,000 a year under plans to charge the full commercial rate.


The charity, which saves hundreds of lives every year, currently pays an annual £48,000 at a discounted rate of 50 per cent. It relies on donations for its income and fears the move will have a disastrous impact on fundraising.

 

Peter Bradley, RNLI operations staff officer, says, “It's a lot of money when you think in terms of lifeboat days and little old ladies collecting pound coins. We could buy several inshore lifeboats for the same amount. The Government relies on us to provide this search-and-rescue service, at a cost of £124 million a year, but its now wants to charge us for doing so!”

£250,000 represents an awful lot of charity collections, even more so in the current economic climate.

 

If you feel strongly about supporting this service which saves seafarers’ lives, then please sign the petition below to help defeat these unjust charges.

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/RNLI-RF-licences/