The bad news just keeps on coming, earlier talks broke down between unions and management at Bus Eireann meaning that the current strike isn’t going to end just yet.
Now, it looks like you’re going to have to get a licence if you own a laptop or tablet in Ireland.
According to the Irish Times, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten is to ask an Oireachtas committee to examine whether a household should pay a TV licence for other devices that are used in the home.
The news was first reported last month, but now looks to have been given some forward momentum following Naughten’s decision to refer it to an Oireachtas committee.
Naughten wishes to assess whether the €160 annual TV licence should be reformed to include laptops, computers and tablets and he will ask the committee to determine if any devices above 12 inches should be subject to the TV licence fee.
The new plan could generate as much as €5 million extra per year for RTÉ as Naughten believes the expansion of the charge is necessary to avoid evasion of the charge.
One in ten households in Ireland do not own a TV licence and it’s estimated that over 13% of households in Ireland evade the payment of the tax.
TV licence fees, or indirect charges to fund public TV stations, are found in about two-thirds of European countries.
But in recent years, both Finland and Iceland have abolished the charge in favour of a public broadcasting service tax on all adults.
Irish broadcasters have been suffering from increased financial pressures due to lower advertising revenues in recent years.