PLANS to make owners of second homes in France pay for a second TV licence have been quashed by the government.
The move would have seen more than three million French owners pay €64 - just over half the price of a full €127 redevance audiovisuelle - and was proposed to avoid a planned €4 rise for every licence-payer.
The €4 rise will now go ahead in 2013 after a vote in the National Assembly on next year's budget.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault rejected the plan for a second licence as "the consequences had not been thought through". Opponents had said that it would not just hit the wealthy but also a large cross-section of middle-class owners.
Ayrault also threw out proposals to impose ISF wealth tax impôt de solidarité sur la fortune on works of art.
The assembly's finance committee had voted to include art worth more than €50,000 in the calculations for the ISF but then the Socialist majority decided not to support it in the final budget vote.
Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti had strongly opposed the proposal, which was also attacked by art galleries, museums, auction houses and art-lovers. They had feared that the move would stop donations to galleries and prompt artworks to be sold abroad.
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