From The Free Dictionary
1. A fixed sum charged, as by an institution or by law, for a privilege: a license fee; tuition fees.
2. A charge for professional services: a surgeon’s fee.
3. A tip; a gratuity.
4. Law An inherited or heritable estate in land.
Shall we try Tax ?
1. A contribution for the support of a government required of persons, groups, or businesses within the domain of that government.
2. A fee or dues levied on the members of an organization to meet its expenses.
3. A burdensome or excessive demand; a strain.
Get that ? Now I would say there is a difference and hardly a pedantic one at that.
Taking the word ‘fee’ though… now read this story from the BBC which is entitled “Fine warning over TV on mobiles”
No, there is no quote because on that BBC page the word ‘fee’ does not appear. The word ‘licence’ does though – quite a few times. But the word ‘fee’ does not accompany it. Why ? Because as I posted in January the licence fee is now a tax. However, in that story at the bottom it says ““We have a database of 28 million addresses that shows us who does and does not have a current TV licence,” the TV Licensing spokesman said.” Okay… so the line is still being followed. Until you go to the home of TV Licensing and check their ‘About Us’ page. The word ‘Fee’ is mentioned 6 times. The word ‘Tax’ is missing.
TV Licensing call it a ‘Fee’
BBC call it a ‘License’
and some buried piece of bureacracy calls it a ‘Tax’
According to the BBC, The BBC is paid for directly through each household TV licence. (did you notice the /licencefee/ in the url ?).
It repeats itself elsewhere on the site: “The BBC is financed by a TV licence paid by households.“.
The BBC are also keen that we know that the “BBC World Service is funded by Government grant and not your TV licence.” and that “Profits from separate BBC commercial services help to keep the licence fee low.“. Seeing anything odd yet ?
It also claims that the license fee “.. allows it to run a wide range of popular public services for everyone, free of adverts and independent of advertisers, shareholders or political interests.“. Hmm…
Its [sic] vision is to be the most creative, trusted organisation in the world.
Well why not start by telling the truth about the Govts new tax then eh ?