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Minister reveals big news on controversial TV licence proposals

Minister reveals big news on controversial TV licence proposals

Extending the TV licence fee to laptops and other computers was scrapped because it would cost more to go after tax evaders than the revenue it would generate, Communications Minister Denis Naughten confirmed.

He will be bringing his long-awaited broadcasting bill before Cabinet today, but the TV licence fee will remain unchanged despite calls from his department to extend it to laptops, personal computers and large tablets as part of a general broadcasting charge.

Currently, An Post spends around €12.5m a year collecting the fees using a team of 40 inspectors.

But Mr Naughten said it would be next to impossible to police.

"The logistics of trying to police it would cost more in enforcement," he said.

However, his department will continue to look at ways of making those who view television content online pay for it.

Meanwhile, he will bring a series of proposal to Cabinet today aimed at securing the future of local radio stations through use of the fees.