Sunday, September 13, 2015

Audiovisual: State prefers taxing telecoms reform that the fee – Le Figaro

The government has ruled. Before the elections, it limits the increase of the fee to 1 euro to move to 137 euros. However, it imposes stress on telecom operators by taking them a hundred more million.

All for it. After stirring up many avenues for financing France Télévisions, The Elysee has ruled. In the end, there’ll be no reform of the fee or advertising recovery after 20 hours. However, the government takes an old idea of ​​Nicolas Sarkozy. To telecoms operators to contribute

In an interview with JDD , Fleur Pellerin, the Minister of Culture and Communication, agreed that all tracks studied for a year to reform the method of collecting the fee would have led to nothing. Yet in October 2014 before the CSA, Francois Hollande promised to modernize the fee. But 18 months of the presidential elections, the government did not dare to broaden the tax base to the Internet box, which would amount to taxing the young families who do not have TV but watching TV via the Internet. The Rue de Valois had an alternative project: increasing the fee from 4 euros. But this tax period of decline, it was unthinkable. The increase will be limited to 1 euro to increase the fee to 137 euros. This results from the mechanical indexation to inflation.

Fleur Pellerin also announced that advertising after 20 hours would not be restored on the screens of France Télévisions. This track evoked by Michel Sapin, sparked the ire of private media owners. “I have at heart not to destabilize other media television radio or newspaper that would have been affected by this recovery Evening advertising,” she justified.

Tapping into Telcos pockets

To find the additional 75 million euros needed to finance public broadcasting, the government has revived an old practice day: tap into the deep pockets of telecom operators increasing Cope tax. The rationale is simple. Either we tax terminals to watch TV (smartphones, tablets) or one tax Internet access (the box), or finally one goes upstream in the value chain and tax telcos. In the first two cases, the unhappy French. In the third case, it is painless.

This is the idea had had the Fillon government in 2009, at the ending of advertising after 20 hours on France Télévisions. To compensate for the financial shortfall, the government introduced a tax, called Cope, on telecom operators’ turnover. This tax of 0.9% reported 250 million euros per year. Today, Fleur Pellerin proposes to increase it to 1.2%, up by a third. A move that should bring in between 75 and additional EUR 80 million.

“This is a form of contempt in relation to our business, our industry.”

The Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, denounced Sunday to AFP a “form of contempt in relation to our business, our industry. We consider that we can afford that much and more. Once again the sector is taken for a milk cow “. Stéphane Richard expressed his” surprise “on the conditions of this ad” happens like that on a Sunday without any prior consultation, “as well his “sadness” to see that “this project is in total contradiction with the commitments that were given” by the President on the Republic who had indicated a few months ago that there would be “no additional levy on operators being affected investment in the telecommunications sector. ”

The CEO of Orange explains that this 30% increase this tax represents “an additional drain of around € 100 million for a company like Orange”. “This is the amount we thought fiberize invest in a city like Nantes,” he gives as an example.

With Free, it was noted that “the tax break will not last long,” adding that “it is naive to think that this new tax is not ultimately paid by the consumer.” Contacted by AFP Bouygues Telecom and SFR did not wish to comment.

EUR 80 million for Radio France and France Télévisions

This extra windfall will, according to Minister ‘perennially assigned to public broadcasting. ” For this, the government will introduce a provision in the Finance Bill 2016. “Since 2012, it works to repair the mistakes of scribbles policy pursued by the previous majority,” explains Fleur Pellerin.

This is a real sleight of hand. Since its inception in 2009, Cope tax is not affected. It goes directly into the general budget. Then, the state redistributes the product to France Télévisions. But a year ago, the government decided to keep some and then, from 2017, to keep all the 250 million euros of tax Cope. Today, new turnaround: Fleur Pellerin, announced that the government will affect, not all, but only a portion of that fee to public broadcasting. In the end, the state will retain 250 million in its coffers and redistribute 80 million to France Télévisions and Radio France.


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