Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pat Rabbitte and RTE to extend licence fee to those without TV

"...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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Jim Spriggs said...

An arm of the Roman Catholic Church also. The Angelus still peal out every day..

Nenad said...

Just another scam. And btw: who the heck is watching RTE and TG4 programmes on their laptops and smartphones?! Watching Internet-TV and movies one should consider himself happy not to watch the regular TV-crap anymore.

Anonymous said...

I find the argument about people watching content online as a poor argument. If RTÉ are really concerned about their "original content" been so watch then they should put a "paywall" on the RTÉ Player.


John said...

Just enjoying proper broadband here in the Wales. A joy to watch a movie without the stops and starts I had back in the old sod. Pat has become a true bollix and a disgrace to the idea and politics of real Socialism.

DC3 said...

Crikey John Dublin is Buffer City!

John said...

True,DC3, it seems to me that the clowns in power are each trying to out do the other in finding the ways and means to screw the citizens out of more money for the return of nothing. What they are proposing is a tax on the internet.And, what we have is a very poor impersonation of what a modern internet service should be. I thinK, that GM had many postings about his problems with broadband some time ago. Taxes were meant to improve society not pay certain debts for an elite in society.

JOE SOAP said...

You'll likely find that this is a media tax that will pay for others to publish and access funds.

JOE SOAP said...

And let's not forget, TV3 receive €3 million a year of License Fee money so they are not as independently minded as their P.R. would like Us to think. The State is supporting their right to make and broadcast Irish tinted programming like 'Ireland's Dirtiest Knackers' and 'Ireland's Greediest Beggars'.

As long as it has 'Ireland' or 'Irish' in the title they can wrap it around any old shite and claim it is 'culture'.

DC3 said...

Reprehensible but nevertheless predictable. Although this TAX has been muted in other EU nations, the fact that it's been uttered in such cynical and downright abhorrent terms by the "Irish Labour Party (THE PARTY WITH A "SOCIAL CONSCIENCE")" at such a time in the Economic Cycle is also immoral and degenerate.

If RTE want such money, at such a time, let them introduce Pay For View. Which of course wont happen, as Ireland Mediocrity Ink, aided and abbetted by the other arms of the STATE is in the undermine the TAX PAYER PHASE AGAIN. Alas Ireland was always for the collective and not the individual.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tunaboy said...

oh fuck off facebierzo and "my site" - I love to see the comment count increased on a topic when i log in BUT not by your pathetic Junkie attempts to be noticed. Pardon the explosive nature of my post GM pals but I've just come back cold and under-alcoholised from a tuna fishing trip in the Southern Ocean at the bottom of Tasmania with nothing more than I coulda bought at "Dampness'r'Us" and the only bright light on the horizon was a quick scan of new comments on GM's latest offering.So hate to see these wankers taking up commentary space PB

The Gombeen Man said...

Duly deleted (No)Tunaboy ;-)

This Blogger spam filter is crap, it really is. Perfectly good comments, posted by regular punters, go into the spam folder while obvious spam gets published when I don't have moderation on.

Pain in the bottom, it really is.

Anonymous said...

A universal tax not based on means or ability to pay ? Didnt Thatcher try something similar onetime and look how well that went !

Anonymous said...

That's it, that does it, that's the final straw!
I haven't owned a TV or radio for years - and I really can't remember for how many years - it's been that long. Reasons?

TV: I don't watch soaps or game shows or reality shows or 3rd rate movies or sports (that's about 97% of RTE's output). Have I missed anything?

Radio: Yes, I did miss something - the bloody irritating advertisements. Except with the radio these are trotted out in between 'songs', the 'songs' will be a continuous loop of the most popular ten or so at the current time. Really, it doesn't matter what hour one switches on the radio, it will all be the same anyway (a possible exception being Lyric FM).

I haven't mentioned the obvious yet, which is of course that I don't want to be brainwashed by a media that is state sponsored as I suspect (forgive me for being cynical here) that their may be some elements of bias - which is why I also don't buy newspapers.

So how do I entertain myself and keep myself up to date with current events? The internet of course.
Yes, many websites have an agenda, they can have a bias, but it's pretty easy to figure them out, plus one has a wider choice to choose from. Yes, there's ads on the net too, but I don't find them as obtrusive - that's how the websites pay their way.

Which leads me to money: I pay my Internet provider for my internet. It's paid for. Full stop. Why am I expected to pay twice? Does Mr. Rabitte have such a high opinion of the national broadcaster that he does not believe that some of us can happily live without it? If that is the case then he must be easily amused.

So, internet is paid for, that basically just leaves RTE, which of course I don't watch. However, the last time I DID watch it I noticed the ever present commercial breaks - isn't that what pays for the programmes?
Maybe some people are unaware of this but next door in the UK, the licence fee is only for the BBC channels (no commercials, see?), the ITV, Channel 4, whatever else is paid for by the ads. So they're basically free to watch.
We however, are being asked to tolerate those awful ads AND pay a licence fee - so unless I'm very much wrong we are being asked to pay twice.
Or at least we were - now it seems we will be paying three times.

Or maybe I'm missing the point?

The Gombeen Man said...

@Anon. No, the Poll Tax did not go down well at all. Maybe Enda and co haven't thought of it yet?

@Dusty. Don't think your missing any point.

Guest said...

So, Ireland is following the example set by Germany at the beginning of this year... I know it's no comfort, but you're not alone in this. Been thinking of the British poll tax ever since... Be prepared, soon they're gonna put a tax on personal air consumption within the territory of the EU.