French PM Hollande considers laptop tax

French president, Francois Hollande is considering launching a new tax on laptops and smartphones.
Takings from the new duty, which is expected to tax internet-devices by one per cent, are to be used to promote French culture, which benefits from large governmental subsidies and protection.

The proposed changes come after the chief executive of TV station Canal Plus Pierre Lescure argued that more needs to be done to protect French culture in the face of globalism and the increasingly multinational nature of internet content.

Culture minister Aurelie Filipetti said: “Today we have extremely sophisticated technological equipment that is extremely expensive to buy, but which contributes nothing to the financing of the works that circulate on that same equipment.”

Mr Hollande predicted the fee would raise around €86 million (£73 million) per year, with most of this money going towards the French film and music industry, which has struggled to match the success of European rivals in recent years.

Additionally, Mr Lescure’s report suggests that penalties for those found to pirate online TV shows should be reduced from €1,500 to €60.