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The T.V. licence in Ireland

In Ireland, there are occasional advertisements on TV and radio, urging one to pay one's television tax. "...Or expect a knock on the door...."

I've always wondered about that, but haven't asked.

The other night at a small party, the TV was on. One of those ads came on, and I asked, "TV tax? What is that?*"

"Don't ask...."

"I don't own a TV — I'm just looking after me mother's."

"I only watch TV at friends' houses."

"And they don't have TVs either."

  — Autumn 2002

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* You're supposed to pay a tax on every television in the house — regardless of whether it's even plugged in. The tax, as of 2006, was €155 per year. I'm not sure what the fine could be for violation — and, of course, nobody wants to think about that.

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