During the examination of the 2022 amending finance bill in Parliament, the deputies voted, at first reading, the abolition of the public audiovisual license fee, this Saturday morning.
The deputies adopted by 170 votes against 57 – mainly on the left – this article which appears among the measures to support purchasing power. billion euros net per year, was Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise.
An “obsolete tool” according to the government
Amendments from the majority and LR were adopted to allocate to public broadcasting “a fraction” of VAT, for an amount of around 3.7 billion euros, in order to respond to concerns about its funding. During this often turbulent session, the Minister in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal expressed his attachment to “a strong public audiovisual sector”, while qualifying the current fee as an “obsolete tool”.
“We assume to remove taxes that weigh on the French,” he continued. The main objections came from the ranks of the leftist alliance Nupes, where many speakers notably highlighted the risks for the independence of the public service.
The independence of public broadcasting, “a condition of democracy”
For Inaki Echeniz (PS), this deletion is a “bad idea”, while Alexis Corbière (LFI) stressed that guaranteeing “the independence of public broadcasting is a condition of democracy”.
The RN, for its part, called for going further than the abolition of the fee, by privatizing public broadcasting. “A great democracy like ours no longer needs a public service,” said Caroline Parmentier. Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak argued that “it is not the license fee that guarantees independence” but Arcom (ex-CSA), the body that appoints the leaders of public broadcasting companies .