Tuesday 12 December 2017

Old age telly licence faces cut

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Budgets for shows such as crime drama 'Love/Hate' could be further squeezed as RTE faces a possible €20m hit to revenues as payments to cover the free pensioner television licence may be slashed.

RTE received close to €60m per year from the State to cover the cost of free licences for people over the age of 65. However, the major overhaul of social welfare and benefits looming in the Budget means that this payment may be capped at closer to €40m. RTE will have to make up the shortfall from its own resources or free TV licences may have to be scrapped.

It is understood that limited discussions have taken place between Joan Burton's Department of Social Protection and RTE over the matter in recent weeks. Suggestions that up to €700m will be slashed off the €21bn social welfare bill have been downplayed by the department.

Earlier this year it emerged that RTE was forecast to report a €25m deficit weighed down by restructuring of the licence fee, weak advertising and the costs of digital television.

Sunday Indo Business

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