In the latest of a series of moves to squeeze the final drops of life blood out of Irish taxpayers, the government has announced the introduction of a broadcast charge which will replace the existing TV licence fee.
Currently anyone in possession of a TV set capable of receiving a transmission must pay €160 annually to support the inflated salaries of the cronies in our national broadcaster.
We’ve already documented the exorbitant salaries paid to RTE broadcasters in previous posts and it’s clear that inefficiency and incompetence are endemic in the organisation.
Pat Rabbitte, speaking of the plans on Morning Ireland today, forecasted a €30m windfall for RTE as a result of the new stealth tax, from a reduction in evasions.
The tax will be applicable to anyone with a device capable of accessing public service content – smartphones, tablets, laptops – which Rabbitte believes is everyone. In fact, he condescendingly labelled those without a TV or content enabled device “cavemen”.
This effectively means that if I have a smartphone, I must pay a fee to RTE. Irrespective of whether I access any RTE content (which I don’t as it’s utter shite).
If the new broadcast charge was designed to support diversity of content and was spread across multiple indigenous broadcasters, including niche interests, then it might be more palatable.
Irish people will find it difficult to swallow an increase in fees for RTE when their programming is already commercially funded and their schedule heavily dominated by repeats and international imports.