Advertising tax shocks the country's TV channels
Both the greatest Hungarian TV channels, RTL Klub and TV2, have expressed their strong objections against the possible introduction of advertisement tax bill. RTL Klub “was shocked” while TV2 has warned about the possible “unforeseeable consequences” for media companies and the television sector of Hungary.
L. Simon László, MP of the Hungarian governing Fidesz party, submitted a bill regulating advertisement tax on Monday. This would be the first economic policy measure of the new cabinet appointed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The tax regulated by the bill is to be paid after the revenues and not the profit. If the bill is approved, the first payment would be due by August 20.
According to TV2, the bill proposal is unacceptable and inquired its dispelling by Fidesz. "We find it especially unsettling that the bill submitted today [June 2] would place even larger burdens on the players of the media market than previous plans," TV2 said. TV2 added that the bill would strip the entirely Hungarian-owned channel and could possibly terminate such popular programs as “Tények”, “Mokka”, “Napló” and “Aktív”, even threatening soap operah “Jóban Rosszban”. RTL Klub said the bill is a “brutal attempt by the government to incapacitate the largest medium of the country”. The channel considered the bill to be unnecessary, as its impact on the state budget would be minimal. The channel said that in spite of having been profitable for the last couple of last years, the new tax would push the channel into losses. RTL Klub emphasized that the size of the levy and its way of introduction is unprecedented in any democratic country.
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