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France axes PSB licence fee

July 25, 2022

From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris

French deputies have voted to end the licence fee financing PSB groups, a project that was examined as part of the corrective finance bill for 2022.

The Assembly replaced its funding by a percentage of VAT for a total amount of €3.7 billion. This element of VAT will be determined annually as part of the finance bill.

The €138 licence fee has been paid each year by homes possessing at least one TV set and will bring in €3.2 billion in 2022.

French senators will debate the matter from August 1st, before a last round in a joint committee.

The licence fee suppression, a promise of President Emmanuel Macron during his re-election campaign to “give back purchasing power”, raises many worries in terms of independence and irregular financing for the broadcast services concerned such as France Télévisions, Arte, Radio France and France Médias Monde.

Opponents also say the licence fee has been replace by “an unfair tax”.

Staff at France Télévisions and Radio France went on strike on June 28th to protest against such a change that could jeopardise the channels’ independence.

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