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The IBI has welcomed the approval of the Cabinet to reduce the levy payable by independent radio stations to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

The reduction, which will see the levy charged to Ireland’s independent radio stations reduced by up to 50%, a move which will have a significant impact on the local, regional and national independent radio stations.

John Purcell, Chairman of the IBI said “The proposals accepted by Cabinet today show that Fine Gael and Independent Government Ministers have not only an understanding but also an appreciation of the valuable public service contribution of independent radio stations throughout the country. The reduction of the broadcasting levy is recognition of the importance of independent radio to the 2.5 million people who choose IBI radio stations as their station of choice on a daily basis.

The commitment to scrapping the burden of the broadcasting levy on independent radio stations was included in the Fine Gael election manifesto and confirmed by Minister for Communications Denis Naughten in February of this year when he announced plans to reduce the levy for all independent radio broadcasters.

Mr Purcell paid tribute to Minister for Communications Denis Naughten who is the first Minister for Communications in recent years to take concrete action to tackle the very difficult trading conditions being experienced by independent broadcasters.

“The scrapping of the broadcasting levy is an important element within the wider suite of necessary broadcasting reforms, some of which were approved by Cabinet today. We are looking forward to working with Minister Naughten as he brings these Broadcasting proposals forward” said John Purcell. “Meaningful changes to broadcasting legislation is vital to ensure that the contribution of Irish broadcasters in a rapidly changing media landscape is fostered and developed.”