The government is set to replace the TV licence with a catch-all broadcasting charge for anyone with a phone, laptop, tablet, PC or smart TV.

A report by the Irish Independent confirms that the government will introduce the "device-independent broadcasting charge" in the near future, but stopped short of specifically naming a date for the implementation. A government spokesperson said that the broadcasting charge will not be implemented for at least another five years, as the TV licence fee will continue to be collected in the traditional fashion until a system can be developed to track and charge everyone with a phone, laptop, tablet, PC or smart TV.

On RTE Radio 1's 'Morning Ireland', Communications Minister Richard Burton said that "(while) we know there are certain devices being used, we don’t know what devices will appear on the scene in the coming years and we want to make sure however we devise legislation that that base is secure and doesn’t become eroded."

"One of the problems we have at the present is a high level of evasion and we want to set up a new system that is not subject to erosion in the same way." Currently, it's estimated that 1 in 10 houses currently do not pay the TV licence fee.

The broadcasting charge is likely to hit young families, couples and students who either do not use a traditional TV or opt instead for the likes of Netflix, YouTube and other streaming platforms.