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Matthews Calls for Free TV Licenses for Men’s Sheds

Green TD Steven Matthews has sought the intervention of the Minister for Media to provide for free TV licenses to be introduced for Men’s Sheds and other community groups. Currently, free TV licenses are only provided to those aged over 70 and those qualifying for the Household Benefits Package but Deputy Matthews proposal would seek to expand these exceptions. Speaking following visits to Men’s Sheds across County Wicklow, Deputy Matthews said:

“Men’s Sheds and local groups do incredible work in our communities across County Wicklow. I have had the privilege of meeting many members of Men’s Sheds and community organisations in their local areas and inviting them to Leinster House. The work of these groups is crucial to tackling isolation, providing a social outlet for older people and encouraging the development of vibrant communities.

“I have asked that the Minister consider introducing free TV licenses for Men’s Sheds and community organisations. There is a clear need to provide supports for voluntary organisations dealing with cost-of-living pressures, and the Government has already offered assistance with the Community Support Fund which assisted local groups with their energy and running costs. Introducing further exemptions to the TV license fee would provide an additional financial support to these voluntary organisations and have a very positive outcome locally in return for a relatively small cost to the exchequer.

“This measure would not put a significant financial burden on the Government or on RTÉ given the relatively small number of groups involved but if implemented, it would have a very positive impact. Men’s Sheds and voluntary groups play such an important role in the lives of members and contribute so much to our local communities. We need to ensure that these groups are fully resourced heading into winter”, Deputy Matthews concluded.



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