Fiasco over radio and TV fees

Bakom is short of personnel in the fight against black viewers. Two current projects therefore want to abolish or revamp radio and TV fees.

The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) would have police powers in many areas to investigate illicit broadcasters. But it lacks the personnel. Digitization also poses problems for the authorities. Two plans therefore want to abolish or revamp radio and TV fees. The Sunday newspaper reported on the current debacle.

Abolition of fees

Since last week, signatures have been collected for the initiative to abolish radio and TV fees ( reported) of the organization "Solidarische Schweiz" (SOS). The initiative committee has until 2015 to do so. A similar initiative was defeated last year.

Fees for all households

The Federal Council, on the other hand, is proposing a partial revision of the Radio and TV Act (RTVA), which will soon be debated in parliament. All households should pay fees in the future - regardless of whether they own equipment or not. An office such as Billag will continue to be responsible for collecting the fees. Politicians such as SVP National Councilor Nathalie Rickli and Economiesuisse are already calling for a so-called "opting out": households without devices should be allowed to opt out again. Should the passage find its way into the RTVG, cheating on fees is likely to continue unabated, according to the Sonntagszeitung.

Financing via fixed share of value added tax

For deputy editor-in-chief Simon Bärtschi, both paths are wrong, as he writes in a commentary. The model of fee-financed media is indispensable in Switzerland. But the Federal Council's proposal is controversial, as the consultation process has shown: Business associations demand that people who consciously forgo radio and television consumption should not have to pay a fee. Because the control would be too costly, Bärtschi only has the radical option: everyone pays media tax. However, without a collection agency and with collection via a fixed proportion of the value-added tax.

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