Coalition government proposes inflation clause for radio and TV fees

Press conference of the Czech government
Photo: Government of the Czech Republic

The governing coalition wants to add an inflation clause to the law on radio and television fees. This would allow the fees to automatically increase when a certain level of inflation is reached.

"In the coalition, we have agreed on the indexation of fees - it means that public service media will be systematically financed. This will also preserve their independence, which our democracy so desperately needs," Jan Jakob, the chairman of the TOP 09 parliamentary group, wrote on the social media platform X.

The specific parameters of the agreement are not yet clear. "I can confirm that we are not backing down from the proposal to increase the license fees in some way," Martin Baxa (ODS), the Minister of Culture, told the ČTK news agency. He plans to present the proposal in the coming weeks.

"It's about long-term stability so that we don't have to keep coming back to the debate about how to potentially raise the license fee in the future. That's why the mechanism should be embedded there," Agriculture Minister Marek Výborný (KDU-ČSL) noted to ČTK.

Last fall, the government published a draft of the so-called large media amendment. It proposed a one-time increase in television and radio fees from CZK 135 to CZK 160 and from CZK 45 to CZK 55 per month, respectively. The coalition also wants to expand the definition of a fee payer to include not only owners of traditional receivers but also people who have the ability to receive television and radio content on their computers or mobile devices.

The planned amendment has raised concerns among private media, and the ministry subsequently invited them to working groups to discuss various parameters of public service. The outputs are expected in the coming weeks, after which the government should discuss the amended amendment.

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