The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) has welcomed a commitment by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to abolish the levy on broadcasters if the Fine Gael party is re-elected to Government. Speaking on Ocean FM, Kenny said he recognised the contribution made by independent radio stations to the public discourse and to public service broadcasting.
He said that Fine Gael in Government is committed to scrapping the current levy on broadcasters with the aim to put independent radio stations on a level playing pitch with other broadcasters. In welcoming the announcement, IBI chairman John Purcell, pictured, said the levy was introduced at a time when Ireland was in recession and it resulted in jobs losses.
Purcell is chief executive of KCLR 96fm.
It also led to a drop in the level of local broadcasting and reporting and poor investment in programming on national, regional and local stations. Purcell said removing the levy will ensure that the diversity and plurality of voices on the country’s independent radio airwaves is maintained. The IBI is calling on all parties and none to declare their hand before the election.