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Hungarian internet tax proposal angers net users and providers

Hungarian internet tax proposal angers net users and providers
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There is anger in Hungary over plans for a new internet tax.

The government wants internet providers to pay a tax of 150 forints (49 euro cents) per gigabyte of data traffic, though they would be able to offset that against corporate tax.

Over 100,000 people quickly joined a Facebook group protesting against the tax, which they fear providers will pass on to them.

Internet service market leader, Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Magyar Telekom called the tax “drastic” warning it threatens to undermine planned investments in broadband network infrastructure.

Magyar Telekom, which called for the proposal to be withdrawn, said industry players were not consulted about the idea.

Hungary’s Association of IT, Telecommunications and Electronics Companies said in a statement that the tax would force them to hike prices, which would reflect in consumer prices in general and hinder economic growth.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has in the last few years imposed special taxes on the banking, retail and energy sectors as well as on telecommunications providers to keep the budget deficit in check, jeopardising profits in some sectors of the economy and unnerving international investors.

with Reuters