France, a nation where people mostly spend their free time visiting museums and attending art events, wants to tax smartphones and tablets manufacturers, specifically Apple, to fund its cultural passion.
Expected to go before parliament in the fall, the proposal, limited to 1 per cent to 4 per cent of the sale price, would be slapped on Apple's iPhones and iPads, as well as Android tablets and Amazon's Kindle Fire devices.
The proposal was laid down by a French nine-member panel led by businessman Pierre Lescure, tasked no less than by French President François Hollande to find ways of funding the arts. The group defended taxing the sale of smartphones and tablets could generate much needed revenues for the government since consumers now spend more on hardware rather on content.
Once legislated, the plan could give the France coffers roughly 86 million euros (AU$112 million) per year.
"Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators," Aurelie Filipetti, the culture minister, was quoted by The Telegraph.
Specifically, the revenue would be generally used to support cultural industries creating French music, images, and videos. France is highly protective of its cultural products from foreign competition, so much that officials from the country want it exempt from free trade rules.
But other officials from government also remain wary and cautious as the proposal could further fan the flames of global perception that France is an anti-business nation. Desperate to protect its social and cultural institutions, not to mention fund its government, in light of the massive worldwide economic downtuwn, France has resorted to milking the pockets of the wealthy. This could further be exacerbated since the European Commission expects the economy to contract 0.1 per cent in 2013.
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