Sunday 18 November 2018

'Licence fee system should be scrapped'

Patricia McDonagh

The Government was urged yesterday to scrap the "archaic, expensive and regressive" TV licence collection system, which is forcing people to cover the costs for those who do not pay.

Fine Gael made the call just days after RTE received a €2 licence fee hike which will kick-in on January 1, 2008, pushing the fee up to €160.

The party's communications spokesman, Simon Coveney, said people are being forced to pay for the estimated 16pc of households that are not willing to pay the licence fee.

The current system is similar to the car insurance system, whereby people who pay insurance "must pay for those who do not", he added.

Instead of the current intrusive and inefficient system of collecting money to finance public service broadcasting, the Government could finance it through general taxation, Mr Coveney said.

This modern system would prevent a situation in the future where people who watch television through a broadband connection would be able to escape the licence fee.

Up to 16pc of households do not pay the licence fee, he said.

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