RTÉ spends almost €1,000 per day on taxis, a rise of 18%
on 21/03/2013 00:00:00
The figures show that last year the broadcaster spent €360,700 on taxi services and this followed a spend of €305,997 in 2011 - an increase of €54,703.
RTÉ said the figures "do not include individual members of staff using taxis and claiming the expense on production of receipts".
The broadcaster stated that the figures for 2012 and 2011 "refers to the taxi companies with whom RTÉ has contractual arrangements".
In contrast to the FOI unit of another state agency, the HSE, which released the biggest amounts paid to its top taxi firms, the broadcaster declined to reveal the top amounts paid to named taxi firms in 2012. The unit states that the refusal "is made on the basis that this information is commercially sensitive and its disclosure could prejudice RTÉ's position in terms of both ongoing and future contractual negotiations with related service providers".
Disclosure of the rise in spend on taxis follows RTÉ last month providing a taxi to bring Michael Healy-Rae the 650km round-trip from Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, to appear at RTÉ's Dublin studios for the Saturday Night Show. The fare for Deputy Healy-Rae's trip would be around €400.
The most recent financial figures for RTÉ date to 2011 when its deficit widened to €16.8m as commercial revenues fell and licence fee income declined.