A proposed public service broadcasting charge, which was due to come into Effect on Janurary 1st 2015 has been postponed until further notice.
The charge, which former Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte proposed in 2013 to replace the current television licence, has been postponed due to the ongoing difficulties the current Government has faced in implementing water charges.
The new public service broadcasting charge was due to be issued to every householder regardless of whether they owns a television, and was expected to be approximately the same price as the current television license which currently costs €160.00 per year, with costs for businesses expected to be slightly higher.
Those who are currently exempt from the television license charge are thought to not be liable for the impending broadcasting charge due to being in receipt of a household benefits package.
The new charge was a plan devised by the former communications minister due to the trend of individuals watching news and RTÉ content on iPods, tablets, and smartphones.
This allowed for individuals to steer clear of paying a television license because of not owning a television, which meant that RTÉ were losing out on revenue.
According to a press release issued by the Department of Communications in July 2014: “License fee evasion is an ongoing scourge. This means that around twenty five million euro worth of potential revenue is lost annually to RTÉ
“The objective of our TV license system is to fund public service broadcasting. The revenue lost through fee evasion has an immediate impact on the quality of service that can be provided by the national broadcaster.”
Government permission had been approved to allow for An Post to access cable and satellite television subscription data for purposes of identifying potential fee evaders.
Former RTÉ producer Alex White has now replaced Pat Rabitte and is currently serving as the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.