Tax on press advertising to be abolished

The government plans to abolish the tax on press advertising, according to culture minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

Liljeroth, together with the media policy-makers of the four Alliance parties, has presented her argument for the development of media policy in a full page opinion piece in Dagens Nyheter on Sunday.

Taxes on press advertising, a selective purchase tax on advertising in newspapers, is to be abolished, as it is “unfair” and “ideologically wrong.”

“Advertising is part of a company’s marketing, which is a central and healthy part of a market economy – nothing that should be subject to penal taxes,” Liljeroth and her colleagues wrote in Dagens Nyheter.

The abolition of taxes on press advertising has become necessary, they argue, following the changes to press subsidies that have previously been announced by the government. Among the changes will be a cut in subsidies to major newspapers.

The Swedish Newspaper Publisher’s Association (TU) has long been calling for the abolition of taxes on press advertising. TU argues that it is unfair that press advertising is subjected to the tax while competing media, such as internet, TV and radio are not.

Liljeroth and her colleagues also used the article to emphasize that the non-commercial radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR) would remain an independent company.

Liljeroth argued however that she would like to see a more competitive national commercial radio sector while recognizing that public service radio has a particular responsibility for ensuring quality and diversity in radio programming.

“For this purpose it is therefore crucial to protect the distinctive character of radio and to retain SR’s independence.”