The Ministry of Economy has no doubts: the Rai license fee remains in the electricity bill. “The rumors of an exclusion of the RAI fee from the electricity bill are not, in light of the long preliminary work in progress,”, reads a note from the Mef. “The PNRR milestone finds its foundation in the need to protect competition in the electricity market and is based on the Agcm proposals, which had not found any critical issues regarding the payment of the Rai fee from the point of view of market competition energy, provided that the payment was transparent to end users. Requirement that – it concludes – is satisfied ».
It was the will of the previous government to apply a different collection system as early as next year, driven by requests from the European Union. The current government, however, does not seem to think the same way.
National Consumers Union: the reasons for the exclusion of the fee from the bill are well founded
«According to the Mef, the rumors of an exclusion of the Rai fee from the electricity bill are not founded because the Agcm had not found any critical issues regarding the payment of the Rai fee from the point of view of competition in the energy market. In truth, the opinion of the Antitrust is of 28 October 2015, well before the European Union raised a problem not only related to competition in the strict sense, but also to the energy market and which concerned the fact that it cannot be asked it is compulsory for energy suppliers to collect charges not linked to their own market sector, just as consumers cannot be asked to pay a cost linked to a different service in the same bill ». This was stated by the president of the National Consumers Union Massimiliano Dona, in reference to the note from the Ministry of Economy. “We do not think – concludes Dona – that these reasons have ceased to exist and have no basis. The rent remains an improper charge not linked to electricity consumption ».
The Codacons request: the fee must be abolished
“The Rai license fee is in effect the most hated tax by Italians and the time is now ripe for its definitive abolition,” says Codacons, commenting on the note from the Mef. “The inclusion of the fee in the electricity bills represented a real harassment to the detriment of users, who found themselves paying higher bills due to the decision of the then Renzi government – recalls the Codacons – The question also ended before the Tar del Lazio, where our association presented an appeal to contest the measure by virtue of the illogicality of collecting a tax linked to the possession of the television through electricity bills. We believe that the time is now ripe to proceed with a total abolition of the Rai license fee, given the new scenario of the Italian television market and the possibility for Rai to compete on equal terms with the other networks through advertising sales – adds Codacons – Without to count that the fee included in the bill aggravates the expenditure of users for electricity supplies, supplies whose tariffs have undergone a + 122% increase in the last quarter of 2022 compared to the last quarter of 2021 ».
The unions ask for a meeting with Minister Giorgetti
The RAI unions ask for an urgent meeting with the Minister of Economy Giancarlo Giorgetti to expose the concerns relating to the Rai license fee in the bill. This is requested by 8 acronyms (Slc Cgil, Fistel Cisl, Uilcom Uil, Ugl Fnc, Snater, Libersind Confsal, Adrai and Usigrai) in a letter addressed to the minister, and for information to the top management of Rai, concerning the “Collection of the Rai fee by electricity bills and financing problems of the public radio and television service “. “The decision of the previous executive, following a specific resolution of the Parliament, indicated the collection of the fee in the electricity bill among the improper charges whose permanence will no longer be allowed as of January 1, 2023”, recall the unions, underlining that “this decision, also given the temporal proximity to the deadline of 31 December 2022, in addition to causing a climate of profound uncertainty regarding the methods of financing the Public Radio and Television Service, risks having a disruptive impact on the future of Rai itself”.
“Depriving the largest cultural company in the country of the certainty of funding, in addition to the obvious repercussions in terms of employment that could derive from it, would have direct effects on the same” Ministry of Economy, shareholder of Rai. For this reason, the unions are asking for an “urgent meeting” to illustrate to the minister “in person the validity of our concerns, trusting in his resolving intervention that he can guarantee financial sustainability to the public radio and television service”.