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Ireland’s RTÉ to seek redundancies to deal with “persistent gap” between costs and income

Between 6-70 members of staff set to be made redundant in 2021

Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reportedly said it will seek to make 60-70 members of staff redundant in the new year as it attempts to cut costs by €60 million between 2020-2023.

Director general Dee Forbes told staff the company is on schedule to meet its cost reduction targets for 2020, “but must now begin planning a series of initiatives” to cope with a “persistent gap” between costs and income in the years ahead, reports the Irish Times.

Forbes said that Covid has “impacted hugely” on the broadcaster’s finances. It April it warned revenues could drop 25-35 per cent in 2020, though it has recently said that the outlook has started to improve.

It added that outlook has been helped by the postponement of major sporting events such as Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics. The costs will return in 2021, when RTÉ will no longer be able to be able to access wage support from the Irish government.

“While we have managed our finances through the pandemic well so far, this does not mean we are financially secure,” added Forbes.

She called on the Irish government to reform the licence fee to help RTÉ sustain its output. “If government does not fix the TV licence system, RTÉ cannot return to a stable financial position, or make the investments we need to make in technology and programming,” said Forbes.