Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Niamh Smyth TD, says the reported jobs cuts and downgrading of services in RTÉ could have been prevented if the government had made real efforts to solve TV licence evasion problems.
Deputy Smyth said, “Fine Gael’s failure to address the mass evasion of the licence fee has led RTÉ to this point. Successive Communications Minsters have turned a blind eye to the issue, and now we are seeing job losses and regional studio closures as a result.
“To begin cuts at production level and the removal of some valued services is a big mistake. Not only are creatives losing employment, the abolishing of these jobs removes entry to creative roles for graduates and the next generation of those working in media production.
“I believe a greater focus is needed on collecting the television licence fee before further drastic cuts are implemented. €35 million to €50 million of the TV Licence fee is just not collected. The future of public service broadcasting could be secured in large part through this alone.
“Unless Fine Gael begins to get to grips with the problem of TV licence evasion, it will continue to threaten the future of public service broadcasting,” concluded Deputy Smyth.