Gov't coalition party calls on Finance Ministry to withdrawn from ad tax

Poland's Junior government coalition party Agreement has called on the Finance Ministry to scrap a controversial media tax project or revise it.

Jaroslaw Gowin, the party's leader and deputy prime minister, told a press conference on Wednesday that he was speaking "not as the party's president, but as the minister responsible for the economy, consulting with entrepreneurs on the media tax."

“We expect the Finance Ministry to either withdraw this project or make deep revisions to it,” he said.

The proposed tax has drawn widespread condemnation from private media companies in Poland. They have claimed it could stifle media pluralism and free speech in the country, and last week many newspapers, radio stations and television channels imposed a news blackout in protest.

Gowin announced that meetings with the e-commerce industry and advertising agencies are planned in the coming days.

On Tuesday, the deadline for consultation of the bill passed, the consequence of which will be the introduction of additional payments for internet and conventional advertising.

According the government, half of any revenue from the advertising tax will be devoted to the National Health Fund, the National Monument Protection Fund and the newly created Fund for Supporting Culture and National Heritage in the Media Area.