Communications Energy and Natural Resources

Archive for the ‘Communications Energy and Natural Resources’ Category

Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Dáil Issues, Oral Questions, Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is satisfied that the national broadcaster has met the legal and regulatory requirements under the Broadcasting Act 2009 with regard to the outsourcing of programming by RTÉ. – Clare Daly.

To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the discussions his department had with the RTÉ authorities prior to the announcement that the broadcaster would outsource all young person’s programming; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Clare Daly.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016.

Ref No:   38623/16

RTÉ is an independent national public service broadcaster whose remit and obligations are set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009.

Section 114 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 states the principal objects and associated powers of RTÉ and Section 98 provides that it shall be independent in the pursuance of these objects, subject to the requirements of the Act.

As such, I have not had any discussions with RTÉ in relation to its recent announcement that it intendeds to commission its young people’s programmes from the independent sector. The decision is solely a matter for the Board and management of RTÉ and, while it remains subject to discussion with the RTÉ Trade Union Group, I am satisfied that the decision is in compliance with RTÉ’s obligations under the Broadcasting Act 2009.

The decision is a reflection of the difficult financial challenges being faced by the broadcaster and the need for it to examine all options to ensure that it is operating as efficiently as possible.

I welcome RTÉ’s statement that the decision does not reduce its commitment to young people’s programming which is vital in ensuring that our children can continue to watch content with Irish voices and Irish stories.

Communications, Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Dáil Issues

Earlier this year in the UK the BBC were forced to bring 85 of their highly paid presenters on to their full time staff in order to stamp out the tax avoidance that was taking place by paying many of their presenters through personal service companies.  This move was the result of a recommendation by the House of Commons Public Accounts committee which described the practice as “staggeringly inappropriate”.  We are all aware that many of the high paid presenters working for RTE are utilizing similar methods to reduce their tax bills.  When I asked the Minister if he would consider a similar move to the UK he avoided any responsibility in the matter, here is a quote from the Department of Communications website followed by Clare’s question to the minister:

“The Department is responsible for the development of the legislative and regulatory framework for broadcasting and for certain media in Ireland.  We are responsible for developing policy in relation to the funding of the public service broadcasters, RTÉ & TG4 and the development of the broadcasting sector in general.”

To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider the adoption of legislation to curtail the practice by the national broadcaster of paying high earning television and radio presenters through personal service companies rather than as full time staff, in view of the fact that this practice has been curtailed in other jurisdictions. – Clare Daly.

RTÉ is an independent national public service broadcaster whose remit and obligations are set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009.
Section 114 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 states the principal objects and associated powers of RTÉ and Section 98 provides that it shall be independent in the pursuance of these objects, subject to the requirements of the Act.  As such I, as Minister, have no function in RTÉ’s management of day to day matters including general staff remuneration and contracts.  These are purely matters for RTÉ management who in accordance with the company’s obligations under Section 105 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, seek to manage their full cost base in a way that ensures the financial sustainability of the company.
There are no proposals to change these legislative provisions.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/22/bbc-brings-85-presenters-on-staff-after-being-told-to-ditch-pers/

Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Dáil Debates, National, Oral Questions

Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Dáil Issues, Dáil Work, Oral Questions

Clare’s Oral questions to the Minister for Communications this week were on the need to examine the human health effects of fracking, and on whether the emergency services are using Eircode.

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will consult with the Concerned Health Professionals of Ireland regarding the human health effects of the process of hydraulic fracturing. – Clare Daly.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 14th July, 2016.

(10 Received on 8th July, 2016.) [Ref No.: 21508/16]

REPLY

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
As the Deputy will be aware, the EPA has commissioned a research programme into the potential impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction on the environment and human health. It should be noted that the draft Terms of Reference for this programme were the subject of a public consultation process which resulted in an amended and strengthened scope for the programme, including a key recommendation that the potential impacts from Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction on human health be considered as part of the project.
Read More