Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has questioned how Minister Denis Naughten’s Broadcasting Charge will be implemented.

The Minister has proposed that a Broadcasting Charge may be introduced, and that it is intended as an expansion on the existing television license.

“The upshot of this new charge is that laptop and tablet owners with screens larger than 11 inches will now be liable to pay a broadcasting charge.

“The Minister should have clarified in the same breath whether this charge is a replacement to the current TV licence or whether it is an additional charge.

“For example, will households with a TV and a device such as a laptop, be liable for both the TV licence and the broadcasting charge? We cannot have a situation where people are forced to pay on the double.

“The Minister in the pursuit of headlines has failed to provide the necessary detail to allow for a proper examination of his policy.

“Fianna Fáil believes in a properly funded public service broadcaster. The high levels of license fee evasion, at nearly 2.5 times the rate in the UK, need to be tackled to help reduce the funding gap in RTÉ.

“However, customers cannot be charged on the double for the same service. It would be wholly unfair and undermine public support for the national broadcaster.

“The Minister must now clarify how this charge will be implemented, what his views are on the future of the TV licence, and who will be liable to pay,” concluded Dooley.