Plans for new broadcasting charge switched off

Levy was to replace €160 TV licence and apply to all homes, even those without a TV

The broadcasting charge, which was intended to  cover changing technologies such as the  use of mobile devices like the iPad, above, has been parked by the Government. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The broadcasting charge, which was intended to cover changing technologies such as the use of mobile devices like the iPad, above, has been parked by the Government. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

Plans to introduce a new broadcasting charge have been parked by the Government.

Sources in the Department of Communications have confirmed that the levy, which had been intended to replace the television licence, is no longer on the agenda.

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten is said to have told his departmental officials the proposed charge should not proceed at this time.

The levy was to replace the €160 television licence and was due to apply to all households, even those without a television set.

The charge was a commitment in the Fine Gael-Labour programme for government.

However, it was postponed due to the introduction of water charges and the property tax.

Former minister for communications Alex White had insisted its introduction was inevitable.

Mr Naughten is said to have told his officials upon taking office he did not see the merit in such a levy.

RTÉ management had hoped the charge would generate more funding and bring greater security to its finances.

The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland group said the broadcasting charge would assist in cracking down on evasion.