The French National Assembly has voted to abolish the audio-visual licence fee.
Instead, public broadcasting will now be funded from a portion of the takings from VAT. In In 2021, VAT brought in more than €92 billion to the French Exchequer, an amount that is expected to increase because of rising inflation.
Currently, public broadcasting is financed by an annual fee of €138, which is paid by some 23 million households, providing €3.1 billion in funding. The French state adds another €653.5 million, according to a report submitted to the Prime Minister by the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) and the General Inspectorate of Cultural Affairs (LGAC).
International broadcasters Arte, France Médias Monde (RFI, France 24), TV5 Monde, are also looking for a set fee, amid concerns as to how their broadcasts will be perceived if they receive direct funding from the State.
The law now needs to be approved in the French Senate.
In recent weeks, Ireland has chosen to continue with the current licence fee system, though in the UK a debate over the future of the BBC licence fee is continuing.