Hungary’s ruling FIDESZ party proposes setting a cap on a planned Internet tax that led to an outcry from the Internet and telecommunications sectors, which could face bills for hundreds of billions of forints under the original plan. Meanwhile more than 200.000 people follow the Facebook page which protests against the new tax. A demonstration will be take place at József nádor square in Budapest on Sunday; the hosts expect at least 37.000 people to express public anger against the internet levy.
FIDESZ parliamentary group leader, Antal Rogán said a cap could be used in the same way voice telephony is also taxed. The old telephone tax was capped at 700 forints (2.3 EUR) a month for private customers, and 5,000 forints for commercial users. “We think it is practical to introduce an upper limit in the same fashion and of the same magnitude that applied to voice-based telephony in the previous tax code,” Fidesz parliament group leader Antal Rogán said.
The government’s new draft code contains a tax on Internet providers of 150 forints per gigabyte of data traffic, though it also allows companies to offset corporate income tax against the new levy. The Ministry of Economy says it expects to raise 20 billion forints with the new Internet tax. That strongly suggests a cap, because other estimates put the possible take at 10 times that, based on data traffic statistics. Economy Minister Mihaly Varga defended the move saying communications technology has changed the way people use telecom services and therefore the tax code needed to follow suit.
via reuters.com and dw.de photo: Zoltán Máthé (MTI)