Updated: 10/11/17 : 12:48:47
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New laptop licence fee at €175 to cover TV

A new Government fee could see people paying the licence fee even if they do not own a television.

The laptop levy is outlined in a new Dáil report, and could see the licence fee cost rise to €175 (from the current €160), and be linked to inflation.

The fee is designed to fund Irish broadcasters, in the context of the new reality where fewer people own traditional TV sets.

The report says urgent action is needed to fund impartial and authoritative journalism.

Fianna Fáil TD Shane Cassells told an Oireachtas Committee that without a proper fee we could see a further rise of fake news, saying: "We're going to have dead product...We're going to enter the space of American TV, where you have commercially-owned channels who can dictate editorial policy.

"I don’t want to live in a world where I'm looking at the Irish version of Fox News to get my information.

"We either value journalists or we don't, and we'd better wake up to that reality."

Ireland currently has the highest licence fee evasion rate in Europe, costing around €40m a year.