February 12, 2024
Decisive action required to scrap TV licence and deliver sustainable public sector broadcasting and an independent media sector – Thomas Gould TD

Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould has called on Government to scrap the TV licence and fund RTÉ and other public service media through direct Exchequer funding.

The Cork North-Central TD was speaking as he and party spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty, published a policy document Delivering sustainable public sector broadcasting and an independent media sector, and announced a Dáil motion on the issue, which will be debated on Tuesday.

Teachta Gould said:

“Financial scandals at RTÉ have rocked people’s trust and confidence in the national broadcaster and the TV licence.

“The number of people refusing to pay has soared in the aftermath of these scandals.

“Sixty people per day face prosecution for non-payment. A staggering 13,000 people were summoned before the courts last year while no one has been held to account for the incredible waste of public money at RTÉ.

“Government parties are actively considering replacing the licence fee with a new household charge to be collected by Revenue. They are determined to continue seeing people prosecuted for non-payment.

“This needs to stop, and we need a funding model that delivers and sustains vibrant and diverse public sector broadcasting and an independent media sector.

“Sinn Féin is today publishing our proposals, Delivering sustainable public sector broadcasting and an independent media sector, and announcing a Dáil motion on this issue, which will be debated on Tuesday where we will call on Government to abolish the licence fee with immediate effect.

“Instead, we propose to directly invest Exchequer funding in a platform-neutral Media Fund, which would support RTÉ and TG4 as well as public service content production and activities of commercial, local and community providers, and introduce a legal amnesty from prosecution for those who have not paid their licence fee.

“The public wants decisive action on this. They have had enough of the mixed messages from the government.

“It is now time to act. The Government must scrap the TV licence and fund RTÉ and other public service media through direct Exchequer funding.”

ENDS

Note to Editor
Sinn Féin’s policy document Delivering sustainable public sector broadcasting and independent media sector can be read here: https://vote.sinnfein.ie/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Delivering-sustainable-public-sector-broadcasting-and-an-independent-media-sector-TG.pdf
Sinn Féin’s Dáil motion can be read here: https://vote.sinnfein.ie/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/PMB-Scrapping-TV-licence_funding-public-sector-broadcasting.pdf

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