RTE has a “closer” to finding soaring TV rights fees as the country is “struggling”, an Independent TD has claimed.
Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath speaks as State broadcaster projects proposed increase license fee this morning at the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.
RTE is looking to raise bids to help keep the station financially stable.
In 2020, €223.6 million in license fees have been collected with €196.6 million – 88% – of which will go to the RTE.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Minister McGrath said that people in all sectors are struggling due to the pandemic.
“I think they have a bronze neck to look for that increase in intensity at this time when people are having a hard time,” said McGrath.
He said he received an “extraordinary” number of complaints about the national broadcaster over the Christmas period.
The deputy minister continued: “We are really in the middle of a pandemic and their content leaves so much to be desired, the number of complaints I received over Christmas was phenomenal.
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“I think people are tired of RTE and I question their independence as well.”
He claimed the RTE had been unfair to those who questioned its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added: “Just taking into account the last 18 months with the pandemic, a narrative is 100% on every show and no one has any alternative point of view, anyone trying to question are all dismissed as anti-cancer agents.
“They don’t have any balance, don’t have any.”
HIT HIGH EARNING PEOPLE
However, Tipp TD said he wouldn’t want to see people lose their jobs due to lack of money at RTE but thinks they should consider the highest earners to replace.
“Look, I don’t want to see any redundancy, lots of good people working in RTE, average people,” he said.
“But they also have to consider who has the highest income there and what they get.
“A lot of broadcasters and indeed a lot of companies are struggling at this point, but for the pandemic payments they won’t be able to survive, many of them will have to struggle to exist, they will not be able to survive.
“So why, in the name of God, should the national broadcaster have a bronze neck looking for that kind of rise.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8235716/rte-tv-licence-fee-increase-td-mattie-mcgrath/ TD Mattie McGrath says RTE has ‘gone up’ in seeking a TV license boost while country struggles