Ad tax to level the field for domestic media companies - PM

The prime minister has said the reason for the tax is to produce greater equality. Piotr Nowak/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has defended a planned tax on media advertising revenue by saying it is intended to level the playing field for domestic companies against multinational corporations.

Its planned introduction has fuelled concern in some quarters in Poland that the government might be trying to target media it regards as unduly and unfairly critical of its record.

Foreign owned media companies have claimed the tax, which could come into effect in July, is intended to limit media pluralism and freedom of speech.

But the prime minister has said the reason for the tax is to produce greater equality.

"It cannot be that the poor get poorer because the rich get ever richer, they must also participate in socio-economic development," Morawiecki told a press conference, adding that tax systems have to keep pace with a changing world.

He pointed out that three or four years ago, a discussion started "within the framework of the European Council, the European Commission, but also the OECD" concerning the taxation of large companies.

The prime minister named such companies as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

"How much tax do they pay in (the Polish - PAP) Republic, in France or in Germany," Morawiecki asked. "It is worth doing such an exercise because it turns out that very little. They use tax havens."