Universal broadcasting charge
Sir, – As Tobias Theiler points out (July 22nd), the universal broadcasting charge as proposed is not a user charge, but is in fact a tax; effectively, it is a tax on the internet – possibly the world’s first.
I have found it extremely aggravating to try to watch RTÉ news online because the “unchecked exception” error appears so frequently on the website. Most of the programmes broadcast on RTÉ television are not available online, and those that are cannot seriously be described as “public service broadcasting”.
Although schools are clearly a public service, it is unlikely that a “universal school charge” collected per household would be accepted by those who do not have children.
It is time for the role of the State broadcaster to be re-examined, the salaries of its employees brought back down to earth, and content that is genuinely in the service of the public, whether this originates from RTÉ or elsewhere, to be funded through general taxation. – Yours, etc,