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French Senate approves TV licence fee axe

August 2, 2022

By Colin Mann

Members of the French Senate, the country’s upper legislative chamber, have approved government legislation abolishing the country’s TV licence fee.

The house voted in favour of the legislation 196 votes to 147. The move follows a July vote in the lower house. The decision to axe the fee follows an election promise by President Emmanuel Macron during his re-election campaign in March.

The €138 licence fee – paid each year by homes possessing at least one TV set – will bring in €3.2 billion in 2022. The fee forms a large part of the funding for France Télévisions, Radio France, Franco-German broadcaster Arte and international TV channels France 24 and RFI.

French households owning TV sets that currently pay the fee will not be billed this autumn. The government is proposing that funding for the sector comes from a percentage of VAT. This element of VAT will be determined annually as part of the finance bill.

The Senate approved an amendment to the bill requiring this means of funding to be a only temporary measure up to December 31st, 2024.

Once the Senate has approved the supplementary budget package and any amendments, it will return to the lower chamber for final approval.

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