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Television Licence

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 13th March 2006.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to change the arrangement whereby parliamentary and Government offices do not need a television licence for each set used in office and estate buildings.

Photo of James Purnell James Purnell Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Media and Tourism), Department for Culture, Media & Sport

The television licensing legislation makes no specific provision in relation to parliamentary or Government offices, but it is a principle of constitutional law that an Act of Parliament does not bind the Crown unless and to the extent specified in the Act. I understand that the BBC as licensing authority takes the view that the installation and use of television sets by servants or agents of the Crown for official purposes does not require a television licence. The Government have no plans for any legislation to change this.

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