Pensioners will not need to pay licencing fees to RTVS anymore

The public broadcaster, RTVS, will need millions to fill the hole.

The public service broadcaster, Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS), will lose millions of euros on licencing fees following the change approved by MPs.The public service broadcaster, Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS), will lose millions of euros on licencing fees following the change approved by MPs. (Source: TASR)

Pensioners and people in need will not be required to pay licencing fees to the public-service broadcaster after the parliament passed an amendment to the law on licencing fees.

Related articleRTVS fees bring coalition discord Read more 

“Due to possible negative social consequences, we believe it is inappropriate if they have to pay the licencing fee, cut by half today,” MPs of the junior coalition Slovak National Party (SNS) who proposed the change argued in their proposal, as quoted by the TASR newswire. SNS MPs reasoned that pensioners are often at risk of poverty.

Before the change, pensioners were paying a half of the regular licence fee, which amounts to €4.64 per each household in Slovakia. Only the disabled, schools, and hospitals have been freed from paying the fee to the public service media from the start.

A total of 109 MPs voted for the amendment. The change comes into force on 1 January 2020.

SNS has long been saying the Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) can run without licence fees.

Related articleSmer yielded to SNS in licence fees Read more 

RTVS to lose millions

Opposition MP Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said the cancellation of licence fees for pensioners will cost the state budget €8 million, the SITA newswire reported.

On the other hand, RTVS said the hole to be filled may be as high as €18 million, TASR wrote.

“We expect the hole in our budget will be fully covered from the state budget in a way that will not reduce the independence of the public broadcaster,” RTVS general director Jaroslav Rezník said, as quoted by TASR.

At the same time, he welcomed the change, calling it a “natural civilised step” ahead.

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