SaS Wants to Scrap Viewer Licence Fees and Replace Them with State Contribution

SaS Wants to Scrap Viewer Licence Fees and Replace Them with State Contribution

Bratislava, September 2 (TASR) – The Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party has proposed scrapping viewer licence fees and replacing them with a contribution from the state budget of an amount set by law.

The party wants to assert changes through an amendment to the law on special construction tax, which would also amend the law on public broadcaster Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS).

The amendment was submitted by SaS MPs Marian Viskupic and Roman Foltin, who propose scrapping licence fees as “a special financial burden on citizens and entrepreneurs that goes beyond the framework of their tax and levy burden”. They propose that the amount of the claimable contribution for 2023 should reach €81.6 million. “This is the highest sum that has been collected in licence fees in a single year,” they explained, adding that the sum would be adjusted every year by the average inflation rate.

The draft amendment also envisages the introduction of tax on a special construction project, i.e. for a gas pipeline serving for international gas transport. The MPs expect it to have a direct positive impact on public finances amounting to €120 million annually.

In reaction to the draft, the Culture Ministry said that it is ready to hold talks on any constructive proposal that will provide RTVS with financial and programme independence, thereby strengthening its position as a public-service broadcaster. “However, the submitted draft hasn’t been consulted with the ministry, and so we can’t comment as to whether or not it meets these attributes,” head of the Culture Ministry’s communications department Ladislav Bariak has told TASR.