Sunday 25 September 2016

Government ditches proposed broadcasting charge

Published 06/06/2016 | 02:30

The incoming director general of RTÉ, Dee Forbes
The incoming director general of RTÉ, Dee Forbes

The public service broadcasting charge planned by the last government has been abandoned because "we have to live in the real world".

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The proposed charge would have replaced the €160 TV licence and covered people who watch television on their phones and tablet devices.

But Communications Minister Denis Naughten said the Dáil would reject any plan for such a fee, and added that the charge will not be implemented by the minority Government.

"We have to live in the real world," he said.

"It is not going to be possible to bring legislation along those lines through in the current Dáil."

Instead, his objective is to "try and maximise the collection of the existing licence fee".

Speaking of non-payers, Mr Naughten said he doesn't want "to see people going to jail" either.

He said he has been in contact with the incoming director general of RTÉ, Dee Forbes, and he also hopes to meet the station's board in the coming weeks.

He added that RTÉ faces financial "challenges".

Irish Independent

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