Hollande targets smartphone users in latest tax crackdown

FRENCH President Francois Hollande is set to introduce a tax on sales of internet-connected devices such as smartphones and iPads in an effort to provide financing for national culture projects.

The new tax of up to four per cent could be included in next year’s budget, France’s culture minister Aurelie Filippetti said.

“Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators,” Filippetti said.

Hollande has been scrambling to find ways to continue to fund its film makers as its economy struggles.

The President yesterday said he was “fundamentally attached to the defence” of France’s national culture.

However, the move could add to fears that the government is anti-business, after it blocked Yahoo’s proposed acquisition of the French video site Dailymotion last week.

A government-commissioned report, proposing a one per cent tax with room for a rise up to four per cent, was broadly welcomed by the French administration.

But one party that may not be so pleased is Orange-owner and huge French employer France Telecom, which counts the French state as its biggest shareholder.