The abolition of the fee which finances public broadcasting, a promise by President Macron, raises many concerns about the independence and future funding of the media concerned.
It was passed by 170 votes to 57 during the first reading of the amending finance bill for 2022 (PLFR). LR and RN voted for and the left alliance Nupes unanimously against.
Majority and LR amendments were adopted to affect “a fraction” of VAT, for an amount of around 3.7 billion euros, in order to address concerns about the financing of this sector.
During this often turbulent session, the Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal expressed his attachment to “strong public broadcasting”, while describing as “obsolete” this fee based on the possession of a television set at the time of tablets. and other smartphones. The fee is currently set at 138 euros per year in mainland France.
The main objections came from the ranks of the Nupes.
For Inaki Echaniz (PS), this deletion is a “bad idea” which will harm stable funding. Alexis Corbière (LFI) stressed that guaranteeing “the independence of public broadcasting is a condition of democracy”.
The Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak, on the other hand, argued that “it is not the license fee that guarantees independence” but Arcom (ex-CSA), the body which appoints the leaders of the public audiovisual sector. .
The left has also accused the government of taking inspiration from the extreme right to ultimately dismantle public broadcasting. “Zemmour and Mrs. Le Pen had asked for it, Mr. Macron will have done it”, launched the communist Stéphane Peu.
Ms. Le Pen, however, felt that “the government’s plan has nothing to do with what we want to do”, namely a “privatization” in good and due form.
After four days of heated debate on the bill in favor of purchasing power, the deputies have been struggling since Friday, via the PLFR, with the second part of the measures intended to counter the effects of inflation.
The discussion must continue until Saturday evening, or even Sunday or Monday.
The presidential camp, deprived of an absolute majority, must frequently seek support piecemeal in the face of the sometimes combined assaults of the opposition.
– Exit the tax on superprofits –
The support of LR, hoped for to have this draft budget adopted without having to count on the votes of the RN, materialized by the rejection of the tax on superprofits in extremis, with 18 votes.
But four majority deputies abstained, including Sacha Houlié and Caroline Janvier, who had defended the principle of this tax. One of their colleague from Horizons voted for it.
The Minister of Economy meanwhile criticized the principle of a tax – “ideological emphasis”, according to him – and called on the majority to “consistency” before the vote.
He welcomed the timely gestures of the energy company Total and the maritime carrier CMA-CGM on Friday to offer a discount at the pump of 20 cents for one and a reduction in freight rates of 750 euros per 40-foot container for the ‘other.
The left-wing Nupes alliance criticized an “insufficient” gesture and deplored the government’s refusal, citing the cases of Spain, Great Britain or Italy which adopted exceptional taxes on “superprofits”.
RN Jean-Philippe Tanguy spoke of an “indecent number” between “lobbying and the defense of Macronie”.
In addition to the abolition of the fee, the amending budget includes the continuation of the tariff shield on energy or the revaluation of the index point for civil servants.
Two points will be particularly scrutinized: the measures adopted on fuels, at a particularly high price level for several months, and the financing of the takeover bid to renationalise EDF.
On fuels, the executive and LR sought an agreement this week to raise state aid, currently at 18 cents per liter.
Regarding EDF, this is the first stage of a 9.7 billion euro takeover bid intended to get the group out of its financial and industrial rut and which should be completed at the end of October in particular.
This renationalisation comes at a time when the energy company, heavily in debt, is going through a critical episode: the State intends to make him the “armed wing” of the greening of its energy policy and the conquest of greater sovereignty in the matter.