Today with Pat Kenny recently did a piece from the Four Courts concerning those who failed to pay their TV licence.
On the day, court 8 was given over entirely to deal with the 150 cases on the books. All those appearing in court had been caught in the previous six months.
Clearly, the TV licence law enforcement agency and court system for dealing with these people is very efficient.
Many of the cases were struck out when those owing paid up but there were convictions especially for those who failed to turn up to defend themselves.
Again, the justice/punishment system is extremely efficient when it comes to dealing with people who fail to pay their TV licence.
The formula is:
Fined €300, €50 costs, three months to pay, five days in lieu (jail) for not paying.
No endless tribunal, no endless investigation by ODCE; no secret deal with Revenue, no excuses accepted.
Justice must not just be done; it must be seen to be done – for those without power and influence.
A reporter spoke with a woman outside the court.
Very stressful. Had to get my licence yesterday but all my weekly money is now gone. I have €10 for the week now.
Do you have arrears?
I do, €80 but I won’t be able to pay because I’m in financial difficulty.
Can you tell me about that?
I’m supposed to get maintenance of about €30 a week but he hasn’t paid it since October. I’m in arrears of over €6,000 in my mortgage, I’m a single parent, on my own for the last 15 years.
I’m in arrears with my gas, my electricity, my phone, my TV, everything. I went to MABS and they help to keep the wolves at bay for the mortgage but I will be going to court about that.
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I very rarely go out, I’ve started shopping in charity shops.
What are you going to tell the judge when your case comes up?
Hopefully I won’t have to pay the €80 arrears because if I have to pay I’ll have €17 to live on.
Are you on lone parents allowance?
Yes, I get €197 because they take €20 for my electricity. I pay €100 for my mortgage and I’m left with €97.
So, I guess a trip to Poland for Euro 2012 is out of the question for this woman.