Another nice earner for ofCON
"One has to establish the value of a saved life. Whether that's in terms of ambulances, boats or radio spectrum we have to decide, as a society, how much we're prepared to spend."
What the hell is all that about? This isnt about the Govt: providing something at zero cost and thus making a loss on the provision, its about how much the Governement TAXES a service that is supported by chariitable donations. Radio spectrum costs The Government nothing. the licence fees are just another revenue stream for it to squander. Money donated to such services should not be pouring into Government coffers for licences to use radio equipment to perform a function that benefits all people who go on the water - we are after all an island nation, and still rely on the water to some extent for both tourism and commerce. This is just another oppertunistic raid on the income of charities by a government happy to abdicate responsibility for the nuts and bolts of coastal (and mountain) rescue to voluntary groups to save itself some money, but at the same time greedy Govt cant resist the chance to grab some more income.
Its the same as public bodies having to pay govt for spectrum, its a paper way of inflating the cost of the service to US, the already over taxed and under-represented public.