After Protests Continue, Hungary Dumps Stupid Internet Tax Idea

from the and-let-us-never-speak-of-it-again dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about widespread demonstrations against a monumentally stupid plan by the Hungarian government to tax internet usage on a per-gigabyte-downloaded plan. The protests caused the government to "modify" the plan and put a cap on how much tax would be charged, but that seemed to do little to stop the complaints -- and thus, the government is shelving the plan entirely, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban announcing that the "tax in its current form cannot be introduced." Of course, that leaves open the possibility of it coming back in "another" form. But perhaps Orban is learning not to take on the internet. An analysis from the BBC talks about why Orban backed down:
Viktor Orban does not often back down, but he has done so on this occasion for several reasons.
  • He saw how unpopular the tax was. He managed with one stroke to do something which opposition leaders had tried and failed to do for five years: unify his opponents
  • He took on the best-organised community in the country - internet users - and lost
  • The government's communication methods failed again - as they have with almost every major decision since Fidesz came to power
  • "We are not Communists. We don't go against the will of the people," he said - a sign that growing comparisons between Fidesz and the old Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party are hitting the mark.
At the very least, this is yet another example of how the public is not willing to just roll over when politicians attack the internet.
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Filed Under: hungary, internet tax, protests, viktor orban


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  1. icon
    tracyanne (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Why does internet service get a pass?

    As far as I know it doesn't. In my country we pay Goods and Service Tax as part of our connection fee, and GST on any over use of allocated Bandwidth charges, over the amount we have already paid for. GST also applies to books, Newspapers and our Telephone service. I'm sure any other country where a VAT or GST is applied to Goods and Services has the same thing.

    From what I understand the Hungarian thing was something quite different.

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