There has been a call for hotels and prisons to pay for more than one TV licence because they have multiple sets on their premsis. 

This evening, Senators debated the financial crisis in RTÉ after the broadcaster unveiled recent cutbacks.

Fianna Fáil Senator Gerry Horkan said the Government had kicked the can down the road in terms of the licence fee and how it is collected. 

Senator Horkan said he couldn't understand how some places with multiple TV sets such as prisons and hotels were only paying for one licence per building, he said the charging mechanism needed to change. 

He asked whether RTÉ had the ability or willingness to start charging for content.

Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh, who served on the board of RTÉ for two years, said the public service broadcaster needs to be made fit for puropse and it's not.

He said RTÉ had been 'beating the drum' for more than 20 years around the licence fee and the issues with collection. 

"What is it about Ireland? How is it the some people pay and some never pay? We have got to create equity."  

Senator Céidigh said 65% of Irish households had signed up to paid-for-TV and that causes problems for viewership of RTÉ.