Monday 22 July 2019

Broadcasting charge will go ahead - Alex White

Alex White
Alex White
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

PLANS for a household broadcasting charge have not been shelved and the levy will be introduced after 2015, Communications Minister Alex White has insisted.

Proposals will be brought to Cabinet next year to help "prepare the ground" for the new levy, which is due to replace the TV licence fee of €160 a year per household.

The charge was due to be introduced from next month, but was deferred to avoid a clash with water bills set to land through letter boxes.

It is also considered politically difficult to introduce, given that the public are fatigued by a series of levies introduced in recent years, including the property tax and water charges, coupled with tax increases.

Mr White said the charge would go ahead, saying it was not a new levy, but a replacement for the TV licence fee.

He said there was a "major problem" with collecting the existing fee, with some 16pc of households refusing to pay. It is estimated that between €25m and €30m a year is lost through evasion.

"We've come through a difficult period of discussions about utility charges versus exchequer funding. We need to prepare the ground," the minister told the Irish Independent.

"We have not abandoned a public sector broadcasting charge but it will not feature in 2015. I will be bringing proposals to Government next year."

While Mr White said he was not abandoning the charge, it is unlikely to be introduced before the next election.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section