An Independent TD says RTÉ would have a 'brass neck' if it looked for a licence fee increase at this point in time.
Mattie McGrath was speaking as the State broadcaster is set to seek reform of the TV licence fee at the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee on Thursday.
Director-General Dee Forbes is expected to claim that if no action is taken, RTÉ will not be able to return to a stable financial position.
However, the broadcaster has today insisted it's not seeking an increase of the licence fee, but rather reform of the system - something it has been calling for for many years.
Independent.ie reports the broadcaster is looking to raise an extra €30 million a year as revenue has fallen short of expectations.
That would be achieved through a reformed household broadcasting charge, as well as lowering the number of households 'evading' the current charge.
Speaking earlier, Deputy McGrath told Newstalk Breakfast every other sector is suffering.
He said: "I think they have a brass neck to go for looking for an increase of that magnitude at this point in time, when everybody's struggling, every company is struggling.
"And indeed not out of the pandemic, in the midst of a pandemic really.
"Their content leaves an awful lot to be desired."
He says he received a 'phenomenal' number of complaints about the broadcaster recently.
"The amount of complaints I got over the Christmas was phenomenal.
"I think people have grown weary of RTÉ, and I also question their independence anymore".
On this, he claims RTÉ dismissed some well-known people as anti-vaxxers.
"Just take in the recent 18 months with the pandemic: the one narrative was 100% on the show, every show.
"And nobody with any alternative view - [if] anybody tried to have a question, or even brilliant and eminent doctors, they were just dismissed as anti-vaxxers.
"And they didn't have any balance, none whatsoever".
And Deputy McGrath says while he doesn't want to see any redundancies at the company, the cuts should come from the top.
"They have to look at their top earners there as well, what they're getting."
Put to him that if the State broadcaster paid less the top presenters would go elsewhere, he said: "Let them, let the market decide.
"I don't believe they would because a lot of broadcasters, and indeed a lot of companies, are struggling at this point in time".
In a statement, RTÉ insisted they are not seeking an increase in the licence fee.
A spokesperson said: "The outdated TV licence fee system in Ireland results in more than €60m in lost licence fee revenue Ireland every year.
"This is due to 15% evasion (compared to 7% in the UK) and the growing number of households (approx. 13%) who do not have to pay the TV Licence but can still watch RTÉ programming on RTÉ Player. This problem does not exist in the UK."
They say the current system is "not fit for purpose".