State must not use a heavy hand with those that are vulnerable – Stanley
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Communications Brian Stanley has said we need to address all the options available so that those who may be vulnerable will not suffer, after it was reported that the TV licence inspection function could be given to a private company
The TD for Laois/South Kildare said:
“Our concern is that the State is contracting this service to essentially use a heavy hand and in this the most vulnerable people may suffer.
“We welcome that there is no increase in the TV licence and that the Minster is looking at addressing greater compliance of payment of the licence fee but this must be balanced against the need to provide flexible payment options to those on low incomes that may simply struggle every year to pay their licence fee.
“The process of collection of the TV licence fee can also look at other options in regard to creating greater collection rates. A system whereby a TV is registered at purchase and licence required from this point, similar to how a car is registered, may be an option to be explored or registration of service provided by utility companies may also be considered.
“There have been anecdotal issues raised with the privatised job activation scheme of Jobpath from the Department of Social Protection, and questions of how a similar system dealt with the most vulnerable in Britain. We do not want the situation where demands are placed by a private company on those that are struggling and with limited oversight in how they operate on a day to day basis.”