Thursday, 14 March 2013
"...RTE took advertising from the start [in addition to the licence fee]. It was therefore something of a hybrid.
The element of top-down control was a comfort to the political elite as well. The Lemass government made no bones about its view that RTE should be an arm of the state..."
(A Brief History of Ireland, Land, People, History. Richard Killeen)
Not surprising then, to find that ex-Stalinist Pat Rabbitte thinks we should all pay an RTE licence fee, even if we do not look at the state broadcaster's mix of light "entertainment' dross and Official Ireland bollocksology. Even if we do not possess a TV, in fact.
Broadcast charge to hit all homes – even those with no TV
Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor – 27 February 2013. Irish Independent 3/12/13
EVERY household will have to pay a new "broadcasting charge" even if they do not own a television.
The move is intended to take account of the fact that many households are now watching RTE and TG4 programmes on their laptops and smartphones – and do not
need to own a television. But it will also hit households who do not have any computer or television.
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte confirmed in the Dail that it was his intention to get every household to pay the new broadcasting charge, even if they did not
own a "device".
"In short, everyone benefits from the availability of these services, regardless of how content is accessed or relayed to the public and, therefore, it is my view that the
cost should be borne by society as a whole," he said.
RTE has estimated that up to 15pc of households do not pay the TV licence fee – even though 99pc of houses have a TV.
It currently gets around €180m per year from the licence fee – and could see this increase by a further €25m if the new broadcasting charge is collected from all households.
Mr Rabbitte said that an independent group was carrying out a value‐for‐money review on the new broadcasting charge, which is due to be completed at the end of next month. It will have to make recommendations on the best way to collect the charge.
In the Dail, Mr Rabbitte did not give any specific commitment about when the charge would be introduced. It is not expected that it will be any higher than the current
TV licence fee of €160 per year.
Currently, the lion's share of the licence fee revenue is given to RTE, which received €183m in 2011. TG4 also gets funding and 7pc of the licence fee is put into a fund
for independent broadcast productions...
Maybe RTE and Rabbitte should embrace the digital age in earnest, and make the station a subscription-only service?
I, for one, would gladly go without.
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Posted by The Gombeen Man at Thursday, March 14, 2013