four questions about the TV fee, which some candidates want to remove

Before his first trip as a candidate for the presidential election, Monday, March 7, Emmanuel Macron promised to abolish the TV license at a meeting in Poissy (Yvelines).

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Emmanuel Macron presented this measure in the midst of a series of proposals to support purchasing power, such as tripling the ceiling of the “Macron Bonus”founded since 2020 and which allows companies to pay up to 1,000 euros without fees or taxes.

Franceinfo takes stock of this tax paid by nearly 28 million French people, which makes it possible, in particular, to finance the public groups France Télévisions and Radio France, and thus to finance the franceinfo website.

1What is the charge used for?

The royalty, called since 2009 “contribution to the public audiovisual sector”, finances public radio since 1933 and public television since 1943. It contributes to the functioning of public media, such as those of France Télévisions (including franceinfo, France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5 and overseas public broadcasters), Radio France (franceinfo, France Inter, France Culture, France Bleu…), France Médias Monde (France 24, RFI, TV5 Monde…), Arte and the National Audiovisual Institute (INA). This is how this funding was used by France Télévisions in 2018:

Thanks to this contribution, these media make relatively less use of advertising revenue than the private media, the number of minutes of advertising per hour of broadcast is more limited. In the case of Radio France, for example, just over 86% of its funding comes from its contribution to the public broadcaster, the group’s website reports. This allows sites like franceinfo to offer content without advertising banners.

The mission of the public media is to disseminate in particularbroadcasts of direct expression in favor of political formations and professional organizations, religious programs, election campaign broadcasts, etc.defines the Auregulatory body for audiovisual and digital communications (Arcom).

2Who pays it in France?

The contribution to the public broadcaster is now paid by nearly 28 million people. In 2022, it should bring in 3.7 billion euros, according to the financial law published by the Ministry of Culture.

Since 2009, the contribution to public broadcasting has been borne by everyone who pays housing tax and owns a television. The amount, determined by the parliament, is currently 138 euros in France and 88 euros in the overseas departments.

Each fiscal household pays the allowance only once, even if it has several appliances or several homes. Several people are exempt from royalties, explains the site, such as people over 60, people receiving the minimum age for the elderly or disabled, widows and widowers, invalids…

3What happens to the end of the housing tax?

Since 2005, the contribution to the public audiovisual sector has been covered by the housing tax. however, theThe housing tax on the main residence is gradually being phased out. In 2020, 80% of the population will no longer have paid housing tax on their main residence. In 2021, after lower-income taxpayers, wealthier households became eligible for an exemption. The date for the total abolition of the housing tax was initially set at 2023, but this timetable could be postponed.

However, the contribution to the public service broadcaster is not affected by this reform, the public finance site specifies (PDF). ‘People who are totally exempt from their municipal contribution, still have to pay the contribution to the public broadcaster’recalls

4Which candidates propose to remove it?

According to the head of state, the abolition of the audiovisual contribution “in accordance with the abolition of the housing tax”one of the most important measures of his campaign in 2017, he justified in Poissy on Monday evening.

Guest of France Inter on Tuesday morning, government spokesman Gabriel Attal defended this measure and denounced “a tool that erodes”while “Having fewer and fewer French people” a television.

Emmanuel Macron will nevertheless guarantee the resources of the public broadcaster, according to Gabriel Attal, “of the state budget”to give “visibility over several years” to ensure editorial independence.

The two main far-right candidates continue. In addition to abolishing the license fee, Eric Zemmour and Marine le Pen announced that they would privatize some or all of the public media. “At the speed with which Emmanuel Macron copies my program, he may soon propose the end of immigration!”, Zemmour, the former polemicist of the private channel CNews, launched in a tweet. The Reconquest candidate! wants to abolish the audiovisual license fee “thanks to the privatization of the main public broadcasters”. He nevertheless plans to keep franceinfo, as well as France Médias Monde and TV5 Monde. “to carry the voice of France” international, accurate The world

Marine Le Pen also wishes “privatize public broadcasting” in front of “consolidate the private audiovisual sector facing competition from platforms with significant resources”It is immediately 2.8 billion (euro) royalties that we return to the French. We are a great democracy, do we still need a public broadcaster of this magnitude? she announced Figaro in September 2021. But some media are not affected by the proposal, such as Arte, “overseas audiovisual” and INA.