The YLE tax remains in Finland

NEWS | 31 August 2016

A parliamentary working group, established to re-assess the role of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE on the media market, did not propose any changes to the existing system of funding. YLE should increase its purchases from independent production companies, but the tax remains.

The parliamentary working group was appointed by Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner in October 2015 to examine YLE’s duties and funding, followed by a working group led by Anssi Vanjoki that suggested that YLE function more as a distribution and purchasing organization in future. After its mandate was prolonged, the working group, under Member of Parliament Arto Satonen, delivered its report in June 2016.

The report comprises four pages and does not suggest any changes to the existing system of funding; the taxed-based funding that replaced the television licence in 2013 will continue. However, there will be a temporary cancellation of the annual index adjustment of the public service funding allowance for the years 2017–2019. The working group proposes that the YLE tax assets be formally kept outside the state finance frame.

The working group also suggests that the position of the Administrative Council appointed by Parliament be strengthened, and that in future the Council decide on YLE’s strategy.

The purchases from national and international independent producers will be increased by 30–35 per cent to 62–64 million euros, from the current sum of 45 million euros. To contribute to the diversity of the media market, the report recommends that YLE return to the clientele of the Finnish Press Agency STT-Lehtikuva. According to the report, YLE will also give up its online sites for regional news in order to safeguard better conditions for news competition for regional newspapers.

The working group suggests that a new parliamentary working group be established to focus on the commercial television production.

Ministry of Transport and Communications, press release 20.06.2016
Link to the report in Finnish (PDF-format)

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