Dail debate calls for license fee money to be invested in independent radio stations

The Dail has this morning been hearing of the key role played by local radio stations in their various communities.

It was part of a debate on legislation that would abolish the levy local radio stations have to pay to help fund the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

This morning’s Dail debate has resulted in a motion calling for licence fee money to be invested in independent radio stations.

The Fianna Fáil motion was passed with the full support of the house.

It comes as the government appeared to row back on a commitment to scrap the broadcasting tax on independent radio stations.

Three years ago then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny committed to scrapping the levy that’s used to fund the Broadcasting Authority.

He said licence fee money would replace it – but Communications Minister Richard Bruton rolled back on that in the Dáil this morning:

However, Dail deputies pointed out to the key role played by local stations in their communities and the need for them to be adequately funded.

Sligo/Leitrim Fine Gael Deputy Tony McLoughlin said he was sure the public would prefer to see their licence fee money going toward local stations rather that funding large salaries in RTE

Sligo/Leitrim Fianna Fail Deputy Eamon Scanlon said local radio will not survive without support.

Donegal Independent Deputy Thomas Pringle said local provides what local people want to hear but he said that comes with a cost.

Donegal Fianna Fail Deputy Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher spoke of how local radio had transformed the coverage of local politics.