Saturday 3 December 2016

Short-changed by RTE's licence to print money

Published 27/09/2013 | 05:00

RTE Director-General Noel Curran is seeking a hike in the TV licence fee
RTE Director-General Noel Curran is seeking a hike in the TV licence fee

RTE Director-General Noel Curran claims the current annual €160 licence fee is "too low", is below the European average and that it is "much higher" in most other European countries – the grown-up equivalent of 'all the other kids have them, so why can't I?'

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So the time has come to put this particular myth to bed once and for all. Out of 38 countries in continental Europe (including Russia) 14 have no TV licence, while data is not available for two states. Of the remaining 22, some countries have much higher licence fees – for example, Germany at €215, Switzerland at €385, and Denmark at €303. But many countries have much lower fees – for example, the Czech Republic at €65, Italy at €113, Poland at €52, and Albania at just €5. Averaging out all the licence-fee paying countries, we see that the fee is €145.

If we include the countries where no licence fee is paid, we see the European average is just €89 per annum. So, no, the Irish licence fee is not "quite low" compared to the European average. If RTE want more money to produce more boring talk shows and reality cookery programmes, no doubt they will get it.

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