Hungary's Internet tax arouses mass opposition


The economically precarious country has a remarkably low rate of corporate tax, and makes up the difference with high, regressive consumption taxes, including the one of the highest rates of VAT in Europe.

A Facebook group opposing the new Internet tax, to run at 150 forints/GB, has drawn hundreds of thousands of supporters. Under the proposed tax, every byte of Internet use would be metered and taxed. The total tax revenue will exceed the entire turnover of the Hungarian Internet industry. Street protests are planned.

According to 444.hu and Index, the rate would make Hungary the only country in the world where web services such as Skype or YouTube would not be free. 444 also published a list of how much some downloads would cost after the tax takes effect. We publish the original forint prices converted to US dollars:

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One hour of browsing, mostly reading articles: 7 cents

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An hour of watching videos on YouTube: 8 cents

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An hour of listening on Spotify: 9 cents

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An hour on Facebook: 14 cents

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Listening to a webradio for an hour daily throughout one month: 1 dollar 30 cents

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One hour of Skype videochat: 36 cents

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Downloading a blu-ray movie via torrent: 19 dollars

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Video-streaming all episodes of Friends: 323 dollars


Fidesz proposes unprecedented internet traffic tax in Hungary [Blanka Zöldi/Budapest Beacon]

New internet tax planned; other sectoral taxes to stay in 2015 [Christian Keszthelyi/Budapest Business Journal]

(Thanks, Mindenki!)

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