Dáil debating motion for licence fee money to be used to support independent radio

Dáil debating motion for licence fee money to be used to support independent radio

The Dáil is debating a motion calling for licence fee money to be used to support independent radio.

Industry figures are calling for the government to follow through on its promise to scrap the broadcasting levy.

The charge is put on commercial radio stations to fund the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Fianna Fáil's Deputy Leader Dara Calleary said their motion calls for some licence fee money to go towards independent radio stations

He said: "What Deputy [Timmy] Dooley's proposals are doing is actually putting flesh on something to defend the integrity of journalism, locally, regionally, and nationally.

"To actually defend it with cash, rather than kind words, which will not pay the bills in any independent radio station."

Three years ago, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny promised to abolish the charge, which funds the BAI, however that hasn't happened yet.

Last night, commercial radio bossed met TD's over their inaction on the subject.

Independent Broadcasters of Ireland Chairperson John Purcell said things need to happen quickly as the future of broadcasting is at stake.

He said: "Specifically to scrap the levy and to establish a fund for public service broadcasting and we need this to happen quickly.

"It's three years ago to the day that the last election was held - we were promised then that the levy was being abolished and three years on it still hasn't happened.

"We can't afford to wait until post the next election."

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