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Swiss government wants to lower licence fee to CHF300

The government wants to reduce the annual radio and television licence fee from the current CHF335 ($372) to CHF300 by 2029. The turnover threshold for companies to qualify for exemption has been raised from CHF500,000 to CHF1.2 million.

On Wednesday the government put out for consultation an amendment to the relevant ordinance. In a press release, the government explains that it prefers to act in this way rather than proposing a direct or indirect counterproposal to the “CHF200 is enough!” initiative, as it wishes to retain responsibility for setting the level of the licence fee.

+ Signatures handed in for reduction of Swiss licence fee

The government rejects the initiative, which would have “significant repercussions on the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation’s journalistic offering and regional roots”. With its proposal, the government wants to send a signal to households, explained Communications Minister Albert Rösti.

The licence fee is to be reduced in two stages. It will first fall to CHF312 in 2027 and then to CHF300 in 2029. The change in the exemption threshold for businesses is scheduled for 2027 and will affect some 63,000 additional businesses. “80% of businesses will be exempt,” Rösti said.

For the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, this change in licence fee represents a reduction of CHF170 million, CHF11 million of which is attributable to the exemption for companies. To this must be added an estimated CHF20 million in lost advertising revenue, said Bernard Maissen, director of the Federal Office of Communications.

The consultation period runs until February 1.

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