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22 Feb 2011 | Local News : Singapore

The Government have announced that the Media Development Authority will abolish the TV and radio license fees with immediate effect

The news was announced by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in the 2011 Budget announcement on Friday, and the move comes into effect immediately, with licensees who have paid the fee for 2011 to be refunded by April 2011.

"The licence fees are losing their relevance," Mr Shanmugaratnam said in his Budget speech. "First, ownership of TVs is no longer limited to the middle- and higher-income groups. Today, most households—including 99 per cent of lower-income households—own TVs. Second, with increasing media convergence, Singaporeans can now receive broadcast content over the Internet and mobile devices, which do not attract a licence fee."

The fees were payable by households and non-residential premises such as hotels, offices, food and beverage and retail outlets that have TV or radio sets, and also by vehicle owners for in-vehicle radio sets, as well as dealers who are engaged in the import or sale of any broadcasting apparatus. For residential outlets, the fees were $110 annually for the TV license fee, and $27 for the radio license fee for vehicle owners. The MDA received $132.5 million in radio and TV license fees in 2009, and the abolishment will cost the Government $120 million.
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