Posted by: euromediablog | April 7, 2009

Finland’s YLE: tax funding instead of licence fees

Up to now the licence fee was regarded as the most optimal funding option for public service broadcasters across Europe. It could provide both: political and economical independence and functioned as a contract between the owners of television sets and the public broadcasting companies, supplying these sets with quality contents.

In Finland however, this status quo is soon about to change. A parliamentary working group, lead by Mika Lintilä, has just issued a report, recommending the replacement of the license fee with a tax levied from everybody, regardless of television or radio ownership. According to the report, such a reform would increase the efficiency of the public service funding, by reducing the annual contribution per citizen with more than 25€ and by increasing the total funding YLE would receive.

Of course there are two problems that аccompany the funding reform

1. How will all those Finish citizens react, who have up to now done without television sets and thus have not had to pay the licence fees? According to the proposal, from now on they will have to pay for a service they have been deliberately evading..

2. What special measures will Finland’s government undertake in order to guarantee the political independence of the public broadcaster in the new context of tax funding? After all political independence of the broadcasting body is fundamental for the reliability of its information services.

For further Information: medianetwork and newsroom Finland

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