Hungary's Internet tax nixed following massive protests

Hungary's government isn't doing so well financially, and so it decided the best way to address the issue was to tax the Internet. As you'd expect, both citizen and ISP alike were unhappy with the decision, with service providers in particular warning that the planned fees would be a massive — potentially crippling — burden. The government dismissed the concerns, and massive protests in the streets soon followed. In response, the government has announced that it has shelved the taxation plan...temporarily. It may, however, return again in the future.

Under the taxation plan, the Hungarian government sought to tax Internet data usage to the tune of 150 fornits per gigabyte of data ($0.62 USD). The tax would have been paid by the service providers, and though the government tried to smooth concerns with things like caps on what would be owed, few were happy with the decision.

The issue boiled over into the streets, where citizens protested in huge crowds, such as the one seen in the image above. It didn't take long for the nation's Prime Minister Viktor Orban to reverse the proposal, saying, "If the people not only dislike something but also consider it unreasonable then it should not be done."

This doesn't mean a similar tax plan won't surface again in the future, however. The government plans to kick off consultations in 2015 that will look into how it might bring in money via the Internet, and that could include another similar taxation plan, or any other number of initiatives that might prove just as bothersome.

SOURCE: Reuters