06 Jul 2022

Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD to lead scrutiny of RTÉ spending of €200 mill licence fee

Pay to stars on the agenda

Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley

Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley will chair the meeting on how RTÉ spends the licence fee

RTÉ pay rates and other spending of the nearly €200 million licence fee received by the broadcaster is set to be scrutinised by the high powered Dáil committee chaired by Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley.

The Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) will meet on Thursday, 20 January, with representatives of RTÉ and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The meeting in Leinster House will be joined by the the public spending watchdog, C&AG, Seamus McCarthy.

The RTÉ delegation will be led by its Director General, Dee Forbes.

PAC Cathaoirleach Dep Stanley said he looks forward to examining the broadcaster's expenditure.

“Responsibility for voted expenditure to RTÉ transferred to of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media in 2020. RTÉ is part-funded by the licence fee as well as commercial revenue, which it is responsible for generating through advertising income and other commercial activities. In 2020, RTÉ received €198 million from licence fees collected of €223 million," he said.

He gave an insight into some of the areas of questioning.

“Areas the Committee will examine includes the distribution of this funding within RTÉ and how much of this funding goes towards remuneration of RTÉ employees, including the station’s high earners; the classification of contractors in light of the interim voluntary payment of €1.2 million made by RTÉ in respect of an audit by the Revenue Commissioners; and an update on the remuneration review conducted on behalf of RTÉ following the Committee’s engagement with the station last April," he said in advance.

Officials from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will be quizzed on State funding provided to RTÉ through the Department.

The meeting in Committee Room 3 can be viewed live on Oireachtas TV. Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

PAC is a standing committee of Dáil Éireann which focuses on ensuring public services are run efficiently and achieve value for money. Further information on the role and remit of the Committee can be found here. 

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