A CRACK team of specially trained TV licence inspectors are to be deployed in a bid to recoup the €40m in unpaid fees every year, Communications Minister Denis Naughten has confirmed.
‘TV licence enforcers’ are to be recruited and trained alongside the Garda special response team, and will be equipped with military grade automatic weapons and body armour to clamp down on non-payers.
“The weapons are only a precautionary measure that will aid enforcers to reclaim the fee from licence dodgers,” said Minister Naughten, “if television owners refuse to cough up, then they can expect to be roughed up a bit and verbally warned. If they continue to refuse, our specially trained team will administer a good old fashioned kneecapping, but hopefully it won’t come to that”.
Once formally approved by the government, the communications department will be able to use a public tender to hire the new ‘TV licence agents’.
“Anyone with a background in paramilitary activity should apply, as they have to be handy with the butt of a gun,” Naughten added, hinting at hiring some of the country’s 5,000 unemployed IRA members, “our plan is to hit the elderly first, you know, to break the lads in, and then work our way down through the low earners, basically anyone who depends on the welfare system”.
It is understood the TV licence enforcers will also be able to search a home for TV’s without a court order, warning that any device with an internet connection will warrant the €160 fee, even if the user doesn’t watch any of the national TV stations.
With a budget of €200 million for hiring, training and arming the enforcers, even the government’s most vocal critics will fail to see a flaw in their plan to recoup the €40 million in unpaid licence fees.
“Even if it’s just the Late Late Show on a Friday night, you’re gonna get capped,” Naughten concluded.