iTax - Broadcasting charge 'whether you have a TV or not'


RTE employs three thousand people. Think about that for a moment. A report a few years back recommended that they halve their number of employees, but instead they increased it by 25%.


It’s not just a paradox, but an impossibility*.
He who pays the piper calls the tune.

**Remember, RTE is already supposed to be independent and impartial.
So is it ?
Of course not.

All you’re doing is setting up another RTE.

  • It may work for a year or three, but eventually will succumb to well-established human behavioural patterns.


Which goes to prove my point that if we scrapped the licence fee, RTE would still survive.
Just in a more efficient, slimmed-down version.

There’s oodles of fat to trim in that organisation.


start with 2FM - what exactly does it do that FM104, 98FM, Spin, etc etc don’t already do for free?


Back when I listened to 2FM I would have pointed to the Fanning Show sessions and the exposure they gave to new bands; the live recordings they made of gigs in Dublin and around the country by Irish and international acts; and the Lark in Park series of free concerts.

I don’t know if 2FM does any of this now, or if any of its private sector competitors do. But I guess at least the first two were dependent on the national broadcaster having access to expensive scarce equipment. Nowadays the technology to make decent quality studio recordings is much more widely available and anyone with a decent phone can record a gig and stick it on YouTube.


I’m a bit of a car buff and watch Doug DeMuro on youtube.
The guy has recently hit over 1m subscribers.

He reviews cars.
Just him and his iphone. It sometimes falls over :laughing:
The broadcast quality is excellent.
Yes, the sound could be better, but who cares.
Ironically, when he (or his protogé Tyler Hoover) spends money for ‘professional’ audio, it’s not as reliable.
Anyhoo, far from being the most popular video, his review of a 30 year old rolls has 1 million more viewers than RTE’s toy show - their most watched show every year.

Some of his reviews hit 4 times the viewership as toy show.
On an iphone.
RTE is simply toast.


My kids got caught up in the hype of the toy show last year and insisted on staying up to watch it. 11, 8 and 6. The 11 yo thought Ryan was creepy and after half an hour they all wanted to go to bed (without recording it). I supported that proposition.

A year on, none of them have any interest in any TV. Youtube dominates. TV as much as it is ingrained in us older people is a moribund institution.


I know there are lots of remarkable YouTubers but one that really sticks in my mind is ‘Primative Technology’. Just a guy who never speaks who makes primative housing, furnaces, kilns in the jungle of Queensland without modern tools. 6 million subscribers and his latest video has had 5 million views in 5 days.

Compelling viewing. :smiley:


I’m replacing the TV with a 32" HD Monitor. We watch so little TV there’s no point having one and paying the license fee.

32" Samsung HD Monitor


Absolutely. In this era of fake news, we need a broadcaster that at least aims to be impartial. And at least RTE hasn’t dumbed down the way the BBC has! BBC TV news is unwatchable, parochial, and flippant. The RTE website seems to have embraced the ‘long read’ too, without calling it something dumb “explainer like I’m fiver”. There’s genuine analysis and useful insights to what’s going on. As the UK moves inward, we’re going to need something not beholden to a baron nor a troll-army that’s going to give us views of Europe.

From wanting to shut it down, I now want to beef up at least the RTE news and current affairs…


That’s very good value.
I’m also failing to see the benefit of buying a ‘smart tv’, especially if you hook it up to an xbox, playstation or desktop.


I have no issue with a waiver system for those who cannot afford it - provided of course there is a system to detect abuse with penalties for those who were found with a sky subscription or equivalent :slight_smile:

You can’t plead poverty without first cancelling your €1000 subscription to sky :slight_smile:


I don’t understand why Sky/Virgin Media can’t collect the license, like the way the banks do for Debit/Credit card tax

(Politicians acknowledge it’s an illogical tax but it’s cheap to collect and ruffles few feathers


Not everyone’s using sky or virgin media.


I actually think the news and current affairs output of RTÉ is its best asset. The political shenanigans of the last few weeks came about due to the work of RTÉ reporters Katie Hannon and John Burke. It is the only new organisation which can put resources into serious investigative work and that is a good thing.

Fair City and the Late Late and so forth is rubbish but could stand on its own two feet on an independent basis.

I have no idea about the sports coverage but likewise as TV3 and Sky Sports seems to be able to bid for a lot of stuff.

All of RTE2 and and 2FM could be left to sink or swim on its own. It has zero stuff with a public service mandate and market share is low and falling. Likewise with Lyric. I don’t listen to it but it can’t be expensive to run.


iTax back on the table for the new year…


We haven’t had a tv in our house for many years. I can confirm that the older generation find this very suspect and cannot imagine what we do of an evening without one. We are constantly being encouraged to purchase one of the things.

Anyway, I am quite offended by the notices informing us that we do not have a tv license and we had better sort this asap or prove that we do not have one. I just put them in the bin. But, really, the state thinks I should have to prove that I don’t have one of these boxes?

I also wonder if our tv-less house is included in the license evasion figures?


Don’t worry. When I invite the inspectors in to confirm that I don’t have one, they can’t be bothered and just take my word for it. :laughing:

Anyway, as I’ve said before, if I’m required to pay a tax, I’ll pay it, but it still won’t make me watch the rubbish they broadcast. :frowning:


I hope that this doesn’t turn into another fund to keep the well connected in jobs. You cannot really define what is ‘independent’ media anyway.

There is plenty of demand for quality media in Ireland - they just haven’t figured out how to charge people for it the way the FT and NY Times have. Or maybe the quality just isn’t there.

Also, if this levy is collected by general taxation it should be subject to Oireachtas scrutiny and approval like all other taxes.


If “independent media” starts taking government money that they can no longer be regarded as independent since such funds will come with strings (i.e. connected persons) attached. It also highlights another problem with RTE, if you take a town with 8,000 households then that is sucking over €1 million out of the local economy (€1.4 million when the licence fee increase goes ahead). How much will that proposed redistribution of funds return to the local economy?