Saturday 20 January 2018

Paxman criticism of licence fee echoed by FF

Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman

Alan O'Keeffe

Criticism of television licence fees by British broadcaster Jeremy Paxman won some support from Fianna Fáil's communications spokesman Timmy Dooley, who has called for a fairer system.

Paxman (67), the former presenter of BBC's 'Newsnight' programme, said the licence fee system in Britain was outdated and needs to be replaced.

The broadcaster told the 'Sunday Times': "I think it's completely antediluvian, a tax on one piece of electronic equipment."

Last night, Deputy Dooley said the Irish television licence fee system needs to be completely reformed to ensure proper funding for public service broadcasting.

A broadcasting charge on each household would be fairer as 14pc of licence fees remains uncollected in Ireland compared to around 5pc non-payment in the UK, he said.

He said that public funding of broadcasting should also apply to local radio news and current affairs. In the new era of fake news, proper funding of responsible news reporting is essential.

An RTÉ spokesman said the licence fee system was "not fit for purpose" as the high level of evasion damages broadcasting and threatens the provision of a trusted news service.

Irish Independent

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