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French Budget Package Scrapping TV License Fee “Definitively Adopted” By Parliament As Questions Remain Around Future Funding Of State Broadcasting Sector

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France’s lower and upper houses of parliament “definitively adopted” a cost-of-living crisis budget package late Thursday containing legislation scrapping the country’s 89-year-old TV license.The package, which has spent the last three weeks passing through the country’s Chamber of Deputies and Senate, was signed off on by a joint committee consisting of members of both houses.French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the budget – representing some $20b in savings and support aimed at tackling the cost-of-living crisis – had been “definitively adopted”.The scrapping of the license fee was precipitated by an election campaign promise by President Emmanuel Macron last March.The move has raised wide-ranging questions about the long-term future of France’s public broadcasting sector, both in terms of its funding and its structure, and could set a precedent for other territories where PSB is under review.Under the emergency legislation, the fee, currently set at €138 ($141) per year, will be phased and the payment due this autumn will not be collected.Some 23m households previously paid the fee, raising around €3.2b for 2022 which provided the lion’s share of funding for France Télévisions, Radio France, Franco-German broadcaster Arte and international TV channels France 24 and RFI.Macron’s government, led by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, proposed that the funding now be provided out of revenues raised via value-added Tax (VAT).

However, a Senate amendment to the budget bill has set a time limit for this funding method, making it a temporary measure that cannot go beyond December 31, 2024.France’s Syndicate of Independent Producers (SPI), which represents some 470 independent film and TV companies, put out a statement on

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