The government’s plans to replace the television licence with a “device independent broadcasting charge” has been met with considerable outrage from the public.
This is to capture money from the one in eight people who no longer use a television but a computer or mobile phone to stream entertainment and news.
There is an outcry at the introduction of a regressive tax that will hit all households regardless of their income and ability to pay.
We should instead be imposing a digital tax on the huge social media conglomerates that are using Ireland as a tax haven.
There is also an anger at the RTE itself failing to engage with the majority of the population, paying extraordinary salaries to its presenters, all whilst continuing to act as a mouth piece for state propaganda.
The moves to a new household charge is also linked to a form of privatisation. An Post, who are the organisation in charge of collection of Licence Fees, may lose much needed revenue in favour of a private company. This in turn will further devastate the post-office network.
Changing the method of collection, whilst ignoring the fundamental issues that remain at RTE is a wasted experiment at the cost of Irish citizens.
We need a public broadcaster that remains in the hands of the Irish people, for the Irish people. RTE itself needs to be radically transformed to meet the demands and methods of a 21st century audience. A new look at its programming, a progressive method of charging for its content and an overhaul of the enormous wages paid out to its stars.
The government must be tackled on why they intend to introduce a system that backs their own ideologies and agenda, rather than listen to the recommendations of the Dáil Communications Committee which have provided an exhaustive list of alternative methods.