RNLI doubts benefit of Ofcom price plan for radio frequencies

Rescue charity unconvinced by 'volume discount'

The RNLI does not believe Government assurances that Ofcom's plans for a new pricing structure for maritime radio frequencies would leave it paying less than it currently does.

In response to a written question in the House of Lords last week, Government spokesman Lord Carter of Barnes said that organisations with large numbers of transmitters would be offered a "volume discount". This, he said, would halve the RNLI's annual bill of about £40,000.

But a spokeswoman for the RNLI said the charity still feared it would have to pay up to £250,000 and would not stop campaigning on the issue until Ofcom's final proposals were published next April.

A petition on the Number 10 website calling for the RNLI to be exempted from licence fees has gathered nearly 28,000 signatures.

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