We will all pay for public media. We know the future of the TV subscription

Luc Williams

Last Friday, the Minister of Finance submitted to the Public Finance Committee a motion to co-finance public media again, this time with PLN 600 million. The MPs agreed to his proposal, but do not hide the fact that they would like it to be a temporary solution, valid until the new media law is prepared. Of this amount, as much as PLN 480 million. will get TVP.

Big money for TVP. What about the RTV subscription?

This act would, among other things, establish the sources of financing for public media and deal with the issue of universal TV license fee, which in theory should be paid by most Poles today. However, this has not been the case for years, and apart from people who are legally exempt from this obligation, the vast majority have simply resigned from paying it, not fearing that they will be punished. And although the new regulations have not yet come out of the ministerial offices, it is known what solutions the members of the ruling coalition are inclined to introduce.

– The subscription fee should be abolished because in total it is paid by no more than one third of those obliged to pay and the arrears are significant. It even turned out once that the costs of collection are slightly lower than the value of what is collected from non-paying people – says MP Piotr Adamowicz from KO, member of the parliamentary committee on culture and media, in an interview with Forsal.pl.

Also, in the opinion of experts who have been observing what is happening on the public media market for years, the times of universal TV subscriptions are over. However, as Juliusz Braun, former president of TVP, notes, the entire change must be carefully prepared to ensure permanent financing for the media. He has an idea for this.

– In my opinion, only the state budget is realistic. The subscription fee is theoretically the best, but the budget is the most realistic, provided that it is an act guaranteeing financing for a few years in advance. It cannot be like now, or like it was under PiS, when at the beginning of the year half a billion votes were cast this way and half a billion that way – Juliusz Braun tells Forsal.

Juliusz Braun has an idea for an RTV subscription

He leans towards the version to target the financing of public media include a fixed percentage in the budget, which would depend on the state of state finances, and more specifically on the level of GDP.

– As long as the National Broadcasting Council exists, it should be the administrator of this money. And in this situation, if financing depended on GDP, then when everyone improves, public media also improves, and when things get worse, so do the media, says Braun.

The Ministry of Culture is currently working on preparing a new media law, but according to unofficial information, it may take up to half a year. The fact that this will not be a document written on the knee is proven by the opinion of the Deputy Minister of Culture, Andrzej Wyrobec, in response to one of the parliamentary interpellations.

“Analytical work has begun related to the need to carry out a deep reform of media law in Poland, including changes related to the public media financing system. The analyzes prepared by the ministry regarding possible changes in the field of media law are also aimed at developing assumptions for various variants of financing public media, which will then be subject to extensive public consultations,” says Minister Wyrobiec.

The authorities have an idea. We can all pay for public media

Meanwhile, MPs are not only inclined to introduce the idea of ​​financing public media entirely from the budget, but they also do not rule out the possibility that part of the costs will be transferred to citizens. And this fee can no longer be avoided.

– For now, it is not known whether it will be a formula linked to the PIT tax in the range of PLN 8-10, or whether it will be directly financed from the state budget, or a mix, because there are also such ideas. It is possible to partially link the fee to PIT and CIT, and partially to the budget. We are now waiting for what the ministry will present, because calculations are currently underway – says MP Adamowicz.

Juliusz Braun does not like the proposal to include partial financing of public media in annual tax settlements. It points to real obstacles standing in the way of such a solution.

-It would be terribly complicated. Everyone would have to enter age and disability in the PIT form, because this would result in exemptions. And this violates the principles of GDPR, in short, and secondly, such a complicated operation would not be worth it – says Juliusz Braun.


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