Macron pledges to abolish audiovisual license fee, presidential majority wants to be reassuring

The candidate for president suggested it while uttering a sentence and it was his entourage’s turn to clarify his idea. Emmanuel Macron pledged Monday, March 7, if he is re-elected, to abolish the audiovisual license fee.

“We will remove the taxes that remain, the royalties are part of it”, he said during an exchange with 200 residents of Poissy (Yvelines), before his first public outing as a presidential candidate. According to the head of state, this deletion is: “in accordance with the abolition of the housing tax”one of the key measures of his campaign in 2017.

Since 2009, the contribution to public broadcasting has been borne by everyone who is liable for housing tax and who owns a television. The amount is determined by the parliament and is currently 138 euros in mainland France. This fee is used to finance public television and radio stations such as France Télévisions, Radio France, Arte or France Médias Monde (France 24, RFI, etc.).

“A budget voted for five years”

Several members of the majority wanted to reassure Tuesday, March 8, by specifying the announcement the day before, such as government spokesman Gabriel Attal, guest of France Inter. He ruled out the danger of financing public broadcasting and its independence. “What we are proposing to eliminate is not the funding, it is the tool, i.e. the royalty, i.e. to make 28 million French people pay 138 euros, regardless of their incomedid he argue?

“We need a strong public broadcaster in a context of disinformation, in a context where the digital giants circulate information that does not always come from, we need the public broadcaster because it also participates in the French creation »pleaded Mr Attal.

“We will continue to fund it, to guarantee its resources, to guarantee its independence, to guarantee its long-term visibility”, he added. Gabriel Attal called the trail of“a budget voted for five years”of which “we cannot deviate”.

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“Common ground with the far right”

On September 23, 2021, Republican candidate Valérie Pécresse said she was thinking about abolishing the fee and that the question would not be answered. “no taboo”† Asked by The worldher entourage said on Tuesday that she is also in favor of it and that it is now being recorded.

The far-right candidates Marine Le Pen (National Rally) and Eric Zemmour (Reconquest!) also want to abolish the audiovisual license fee. in detail, m.me Le Pen wants to privatize the audiovisual public service, with the exception of the overseas editorial offices, Arte and the National Audiovisual Institute (INA). As for the former columnist, he proposes to privatize 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.

For environmental candidate Yannick Jadot, “The fact that the President of the Republic has found common ground with the far right in TV licensing says a lot about his view on public service, about his view on information based on neutrality”he criticized on the sidelines on Tuesday of the demonstration for women’s rights in Paris† He assured him that he would keep the license fee, strengthen public services and fight media concentration.

In a tweetthe socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo estimated that “Revoking the TV license kills the independence of public service broadcasting, weakens it in the face of continued concentrations of private media and opens the door to its privatization”† The candidate wants to commit “to make compensation universal and fairer”

“An archaic tax”

For Mr Castaner, the boss of the deputies La République en Marche, “there is a big difference” with proposals from Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour: “Both want to abolish the audiovisual government service. The President of the Republic is deeply committed to the audiovisual public service. On the other hand, the television license fee today is a tax that is unfair, it is an archaic tax.he argued about France 2.

“We are making a commitment to preserve the audiovisual public service”added Mr Castaner and specified that the ‘3.9 billion will be taken from the state budget’ and “back to the French, to purchasing power”.

“In terms of housing tax, we are compensating for the shortfall from the abolition of the TV license fee”added Olivier Dussopt, the minister in charge of public accounts, a guest on Sud Radio on Tuesday morning. “We will continue to finance and guarantee the financing of public broadcasting at the same level”he assured.

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The fee income currently represents EUR 3.2 billion, said Mr Dussopt. Maize “some households, especially those with the lowest incomes, don’t pay it: it represents 600 million [d’euros] exemption, which compensates the state for the public audiovisual sector”, said the Minister of Public Accounts – hence the almost EUR 4 billion that Mr Castaner puts forward annually. With this 600 million ‘public broadcaster already falls under budget allocation’ of the state, estimated to be Mr. Dussopt.

Macron presented the measure amid a series of proposals to bolster purchasing power, such as tripling the “Macron bonus”, without social security contributions or taxes. This tax-free premium that he has been introducing since 2020, “we are going to triple it”because “That’s purchasing power”he said. “Work should pay more”he hammered during this conversation, during which he was also questioned several times about the war in Ukraine.

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The world with AFP