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END OF THE TV LICENCE?

Now there is no escape. Or so it would appear. The Programme for Government has proposed an end to the TV licence and its replacement with a public broadcasting charge which every household will have to pay “regardless of the device they use to access content”, The Sunday Times reports.

In an apparent nod to the new reality of the communications revolution, Fine Gael intends to follow Germany in bringing in a universal charge for media access. Rather than license TVs, radios, laptops, mobile phones or any other devices, the German charge from 2013 will be levied on every household, regardless of whether they are media junkies or hermits.

Even Luddites will be unable to escape – everyone will have to pay regardless of whether or not they have a mobile phone, computer, radio or television. Even those who sit by candlelight with weighty tomes by their sides will also be hit.

“The same logic is used to fund other public services,” said Stephen Price, a media analyst. “Your taxes go to fund art galleries, even though you might never visit one. So why shouldn’t you fund public service broadcasting in the same way.”

Many of us can think of a plethora of reasons – just look at RTE’s scheduling. Still, on the bright side, no more of the ubiquitous TV licence inspector ads either.

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