As part of its efforts to raise revenue for public broadcasting, the newly elected French government is considering extending its TV license fee to computer screens. In a radio interview with RTL last week, culture minister Aurélie Filippetti said the proposed expansion would target the growing number of households that now consume media on PC screens, rather than traditional television sets. TV-owning households in mainland France currently pay a €125 annual license fee, which goes toward the publicly-owned France Télévisions.
If adopted, Filippetti's proposal would extend this fee to those who own a computer and no TV; households with both devices would therefore avoid paying a double fee (it remains unclear whether the tax would extend to tablets, as well). "Is it necessary to extend the fee to [computer] screens when you do not have a television?," Filippetti explained. "It is a question we're asking ourselves, but obviously it would be a fee per household and you would not have to pay an [additional] fee if you have a computer and a television." Filippetti went on to point out that a similar system has already been adopted in Germany.
For now, Filippetti's proposal is still in a nascent stage of development, though the minister said it will be brought up for debate later this year, when French President Francois Hollande's Socialist regime outlines its 2013 budget.