France Considers Phone and Tablet Tax to Force Funding of the Arts

By Gary Cutlack on at

France may introduce a one per cent sales tax on all smartphones and tablets sold in the country, with the money raised funnelled off into an arts fund to back the supposedly more intellectual pursuits of film, art and music.

The proposal forms part of the country's "cultural exception" policy, which is designed to help protect the nation's culture from foreign and technical invasion. It's calculated that some £73m could be raised by introducing the levy, which could fund a whole heap of arthouse movies -- many of which may contain high levels of nudity. So we're all for it.

France's culture minister claims the problem is specifically caused by the reluctance of tablet and phone users to use their gadgets to pay for cultural pursuits, saying: "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." [BBC]

Image credit: French artist from Shutterstock.