Finland set to replace licence fee with progressive tax

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Finnish parliamentary group leaders agreed Thursday that the licence fee would be replaced with a progressive ring-fenced tax, levied from most people and companies regardless of television ownership, to fund the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE).

The Social Democratic party group was the only one not to give formal blessing before a meeting scheduled for Friday morning.

All eight groups were to hold a news conference after the SDP's meeting.

According to the agreement the YLE tax will range between 50 and 140 euros for every adult member of a household with an income. The 252-euro licence fee is levied only once regardless of the size of the household.

People earning more than 22,000 euros a year will have to pay the top rate.

Companies with sales below 400,000 euros will be exempt, with small ones charged 300 euros a year and those with sales in excess of a million euros a year paying more than 600 euros.

STT