Comedian David McSavage calls for licence fee to be scrapped as RTÉ scandal rumbles onMike Finnerty 03 Jul 2023
Comedian David McSavage has called for the TV licence fee to be scrapped as the controversy surrounding payments at RTÉ rumbles on.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, McSavage, cousin of Ryan Tubridy, said “why should the licence fee pay for fat salaries? We should have a subscription service instead.”
“RTÉ needs to feel fear. I don’t pay the licence fee – there needs to be a revolution,” he said.
“RTÉ needs an electric bolt up their arse to get things moving over there. – I don’t think RTE appreciate the licence fee money because they don’t have to work for it.”
McSavage, who starred in sketch show The Savage Eye between 2009 and 2014 on the broadcaster, has been outspoken in his comments on the licence fee system.
In 2016, McSavage stated he wasn’t paying the fee in protest at the broadcaster’s comedy output, saying at the time “RTÉ didn’t commission my Savage Eye special on 1916 because they were too scared and we might have done something funny.”
“The reason I didn’t pay it is I have genuine concerns as to the use RTÉ makes of taxpayers’ money,” he said.
McSavage was later convicted and fined of not paying his licence fee, and still maintains the same antagonistic relationship towards RTÉ.
“There doesn’t see to be any consequence to failing at RTÉ – it’s like RTÉ is dead and on a life support system.
“F*** this licence fee, let’s do a subscription service if people want RTÉ – that’ll make them competitive.”
When asked about the Tubridy element of the scandal, McSavage said his cousin was “thrown under a bus” but noted “he’s had a very good run and I’m sure he will continue after this to have a very successful career.”
“It’s not like he’s going to be homeless, you know, in a month or something. I think it will blow over.”
The RTÉ scandal has enveloped the broadcaster in an ever-escalating war of words between the NUJ, politicians and members of the public.
A 200-person protest was held outside RTÉ last week by the NUJ, with journalists at the organisation protesting cost-cutting measures that ran concurrent with the payment scandal at RTÉ.