Written Answers. - Television Licences.

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

116 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will liaise with the Department of Public Enterprise with a view to waiving the television licence fee on televisions installed in schools to help as part of the educational process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15309/98]

The question of granting exemption to schools from the requirement to purchase television licences is, in fact, a matter for my colleague the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands.

Under existing legislation, there is no distinction made between television sets used as monitors for videos and those used to receive television programmes. Any provision to exempt schools from the requirement to purchase television licences would require a change in legislation.

The cost of purchasing a television licence is part of the normal running costs of schools which are covered under the scheme of capitation grants. Schools which are in designated areas of disadvantage have the cost of their television licences refunded to them by my Department.