Guernsey residents face TV licence fines

More than a £250,000 could be collected from Guernsey residents who have been caught without a TV Licence.

Last month, TV Licensing officers visited the island and caught 130 people illegally watching TV without a licence.

Claire Wotherspoon, from TV Licensing, said in the UK they decide whether to issue the £2,000 fines, but in the island it was up to Guernsey Police.

The force were unwilling to comment on the possible fines.

The licence allows people to watch or record live television programmes.

In Guernsey, any fines are paid to the island's government.

Ms Wotherspoon said: "Our interest is that people are aware that there is a sanction involved [in not paying for a licence]."

Housing Minister Dave Jones has repeated his call for the States to debate "constitutional issues" caused by the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) reclassifying the licence fee as a tax in 2006.

The island is not subject to UK taxes and Deputy Jones said, while he did not object to paying for any service he received, it could set a precedent.

He said the situation needed to be clarified to avoid a situation where islanders could face paying other UK taxes in the future.

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