This was one of candidate Emmanuel Macron’s key promises during the last presidential election: the abolition of the audiovisual license fee. If this project seems quite simple on paper, it is actually very complicated to implement because we have to find new methods of funding for these media, while guaranteeing their independence from the State.
It is in this context that a proposal comes in which will surely not be unanimously accepted. Certain deputies of the majority indeed propose to allocate a part of the VAT towards the audio-visual public. The idea being to “sanctuarize” its financing, as explained by our colleagues from echoes. This measure immediately has a size limit that is due to the very nature of VAT: a very unfair tax that affects French taxpayers indiscriminately, regardless of their income levels.
The discussions promise to be agitated in the National Assembly
However, Gabriel Attal, the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, supports this proposal. As he explained to France News this Tuesday : ” I am ready to look at this track and probably to give it a favorable opinion during the examination of the text if this can make it possible to reinforce the guarantees on public broadcasting on the means and the visibility “.
While the bill to remove the fee will be studied from this Thursday in the Assembly, the discussions promise to be stormy. We know that the government only has a relative majority in the hemicycle and has to deal with the demands of the opposition.
The latter has also tabled several amendments to the La France insoumise image, which opposes the abolition of the fee. Other Nupes deputies, such as environmentalists, have tabled amendments to reform the fee and make it more dependent on income.
Finally, and if the abolition of the fee ends up passing the obstacle of the Assembly, it also runs the risk of being censored by the Constitutional Council. In a report, the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Inspectorate of Cultural Affairs have indeed raised a risk of unconstitutionality of this measure because it could call into question the independence of the public media, whose funding would be directly dependent of the state budget.