French government looking to VAT-financed pubcaster option

Rima Abdul Malak

The French government could continue to finance public broadcasting from VAT as a long-term solution, according to culture minister Rima Abdul Malak, as reported by Le Monde.

Malak, who replaced Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin in the culture portfolio last May under prime minister Elisabeth Borne, told the paper that using part of VAT revenues to finance public service media appeared to be an equitable solution that could work in the long term. VAT has been used to finance public media on an interim basis since the abolition of the licence fee last year. The current measure foresees this continuing until the end of 2024.

The VAT financing is expected to deliver €3.8 billion to finance the operations of France Télévisions, Radio France and other public media this year.

While a dedicated tax to finance public media in the long term remains an option on the table, Malak said that it could be possible to extend the VAT financing regime to the long term.

Malak told Le Monde that she was committed to ensure maximum visibility for public service media, including both finance and the objectives set for different organisations. She said she had proposed that the latter be extended from three to five years.

The VAT solution is favoured by some observers because it is seen as being outside of the state budget, and thus as giving public service broadcasters more independence.

Most Recent