Monday 19 August 2019

PAC wants to grill RTÉ on stars' pay and licence cash

Dáil Éireann. Stock picture
Dáil Éireann. Stock picture
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

RTÉ chiefs face the prospect of being grilled by TDs on the pay arrangements of some of its highest paid stars and how it spent €179m in TV licence fee cash.

Members of the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) want to probe the broadcaster on its spending of public money.

It comes after Department of Communications Secretary General Mark Griffin appeared at the committee last week and could not provide a breakdown of how €179m in licence fee cash was used by RTÉ in 2016.

He promised to send the PAC detailed information at a later date.

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane said he believed the committee should be "given an opportunity to put questions to RTÉ in terms of how it spends public money".

He listed a number of issues he wanted to raise with RTÉ including pay arrangements where "some well-paid people in RTÉ are using legitimate tax avoidance schemes".

Mr Cullinane didn't name any individuals but was referring to entirely legal arrangements for some broadcasters who are paid through companies where they are directors.

PAC chairman Seán Fleming said he did not disagree with Mr Cullinane's request that RTÉ be brought in, but said Mr Griffin's promised detailed response to the issues raised last week should be studied first. He said a letter of invitation would be drafted.

Irish Independent

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