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French VAT rise threat to books
08.11.11 | Barbara Casassus
French prime minister François Fillon has announced that the reduced VAT rate applying to books would be raised from 5.5% to 7% from 1st January as part of a fresh economic austerity package to help rein in France’s massive public debt.
The new rate, which will not apply to food, energy and products and services for the disabled, is the same as Germany’s reduced VAT and is expected to add €1.8bn to government revenues. France’s full VAT rate remains unchanged at 19.6%.
Alexandre Bompard, chief executive of French cultural products chain FNAC, said in an interview on RTL radio that the increase was a threat to the fragile book sector, which was already under pressure from “the hegemony of a certain number of North American actors”. He added that “all literary creation could be affected by the measure".