Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1034)

Martin Heydon

Question:

1034. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of changes to the broadcasting Acts to support independent radio stations; the timeline for such changes being implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13285/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill contains a provision to allocate funding to the BAI from TV Licence receipts. This would provide up to a maximum of 50% of the annual cost of the BAI levy, in turn reducing the levy on broadcasters by up to 50%. The proposed amendment is currently at an advanced drafting stage. My Department continues to work closely with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel in order to progress this work and ensure it is robust, with a view to having the Bill published in Q2 this year.

In addition, to date, independent radio stations have benefitted from the Sound and Vision Scheme, funded from the licence fee, which provided over €494,000 towards 77 different radio projects for broadcast on independent commercial stations in 2018.