TD Mark Ward has called on Government TDs in Dublin Mid-West to support his party’s proposals to scrap the TV licence and fund RTÉ and other public service media through direct Exchequer funding.
Deputy Mark Ward was speaking as Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould and party Finance spokesperson 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 this week.
Teachta Ward 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 TDs Thomas Gould and Pearse Doherty are 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 this week. “I am calling on the Government TD here in Dublin Mid-West, Emer Higgins, to support our proposals to abolish the licence fee with immediate effect and instead 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.”