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26/10/2021

Licence to bill: TV inspectors are back knocking on doors after being off the road due to Covid-19

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TV licence inspectors are back on the road and are planning a major blitz on households this summer to make up for lost time.

An Post said the work of the officials wasn't considered an essential service under Covid-19 restrictions and was suspended since December 26 last and for periods during 2020.

However the inspectors began hitting doorsteps again after June 7 when the Government launched the latest phase in reopening the economy and society.

A spokesperson for An Post said: "Inspectors are back in action now.
"Inspectors were off the road since December 26th. They were similarly off the road for the first phase of the Covid lockdown in March 2020 and again in November 2020."


An Post also said that people have continued to renew their TV licences during the pandemic despite inspectors not calling to their doors.  

A spokesperson added: "The sale of TV licences has remained remarkably robust even during the Covid pandemic. In 2020, and despite the national lockdown, TV licence sales fell by just 6%. This demonstrated An Post’s commitment and focus in promoting licence sales at a very challenging time, and under circumstances largely outside our control.  

Summer is a time when inspectors call on holiday homes to check for TV licences.
Failure to buy a €160 TV licence upon inspection can result in a court appearance, fines of up to €1,000 or a prison sentence.
An Post insisted that prosecution is always the last resort as potential evaders are given every opportunity to pay the fee.  

Overall, there were 961,277 TV licences sold in 2020 equating to almost €155m in gross revenue.
After collection costs are deducted, 7% goes to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the rest goes to RTE.

Apart from TV inspections, An Post said the regular outreach and reminder aspect of the TV licence operation, reminder and renewal letters continued as per usual."

An Post urged people to purchase or renew their TV licence through post offices or online and at www.tvlicence.ie.

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