Department of Communications official says TV licence model is "broken"

Mark Griffin says he is not sure the system can be fixed

Department of Communications official says TV licence model is "broken"

Remote control for a television | Image: Daniel Law/PA Archive/PA Images

The TV licence fee is a broken system and is losing €40m a year.

That is according to the Secretary-General of the Department of Communications Mark Griffin.

He has told the Oireachtas that media jobs and the quality of what is being shown on State broadcaster RTÉ are being affected as a result.

Mr Griffin says nearly 15% of household are not paying their licence fee.

"If I was being brutally honest, I would say the TV licence model is broken.

"I'm not sure whether it can be fixed.

"We have a level of evasion at 14.6%, we're losing about 40 million (euro) per annum".

The cost of a television licence is €160.

Conviction for non-payment of a television licence in a first offence is a fine of up to €1,000.

If a person is convicted for a second time or more for not paying, they could be fined up to €2,000.