Administrator Harpf would give out media support and reduce the value-added tax for the press

News article 06.03.2014 13.39 fi sv en

Administrator Tuomas Harpf and Ms Pia Viitanen, Minister of Housing and Communications 5.3.2014 (Photo: Ministry of Transport and Communications)

In his report, administrator, Licentiate of Laws Tuomas Harpf suggests that Finland adopt a similar model to the media support system that is in use in Denmark in order to support production and innovation. However, this support should be granted on a fixed-term basis and it should be as neutral as possible in terms of competition. The total amount of support given would be 30 million euros.

Ms Pia Viitanen, Minister of Housing and Communications, takes a positive view of Administrator Tuomas Harpf's proposal on direct state aid for media. The minister feels that such aid would be justified during the current transition period.

- I will take Harpf's proposals further to the next government discussion on spending limits, Viitanen promises.

According to Harpf, a similar model to Denmark's media support system could be introduced in Finland, or more specifically its production and innovation support.

Production support (25 million euros) could be granted for example to cover up to 30 per cent of the production costs of journalistic content. Support could be given to both printed and online publications but also to the journalistic content production for TV and radio. This would make the support completely neutral in terms of competition within the field.

On the other hand, innovation support (5 million euros) could be granted to development projects in the media field, such as the production development of new products and solutions. For the efficient utilisation of this support it is very important that product development is carried out as joint projects.

In addition, Harpf would reduce the value-added tax of the press to five per cent, which is the lowest possible VAT rate in the EU. This reduction should be fixed-term and be reflected in consumer prices.