Recommendations for implementation of broadcasting charge expected end of March

26 Feb 2013

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD

Ireland’s Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, stated today in the Dáil that his department is currently reviewing a proposal to impose a broadcasting charge on all homes, regardless of whether they have a television or not.

The proposed broadcasting charge has been a subject of debate for some time now and, if implemented, will replace the current TV licensing system.

In a previous Dáil debate on the matter, Rabbitte said all households and businesses will be subject to this charge, except in specific cases where they are exempted. It was suggested that current exemptions for pensioners and those in receipt of the Household Benefits Package would still apply.

“Publicly funded public service broadcasting and content are now available to everyone on an ever-increasing range of platforms and devices […] and, in fact, access is not dependent on the ownership of a device,” said Rabbitte. “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.”

More than a year since this statement in the Dáil, Rabbitte today stated that a report on the proposal will be ready next month. “My department is currently carrying out a Value for Money Policy Review conducted by an independently chaired group on the proposed policy,” he said. “I expect to receive a copy of the group’s recommendations and report for my consideration by the end of March.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.