Tuesday, May 30, 2006

EU tax on e-mail and SMS?

This is the most daft idea I have heard for a long time. Sure internetservices Yahoo and AOL did think about charging for e-mails some months ago. And in Italy they launched the idea to collect more tax money. But now European Union lawmakers are investigating a proposed tax on e-mails and mobile phone text messages as a way to fund the 25-member bloc in the future, according to CNet news.

A working group of the European Parliament is reviewing the idea, tabled by Alain Lamassoure, a prominent French MEP and member of the center-right European People's Party, the assembly's largest group. Lamassoure, a member of Jacques Chirac's UMP party, is proposing to add a tax of about 1.5 cents on text or SMS messages and a 0.00001 cent levy on every e-mail sent. Presently the EU budget is funded through a combination of import duties, value added tax and direct contribution from member states. Of course, the European institutions would be exempt of the measure, including Mr Alain Lamassoure.

EU funding has been a tricky subject for years. Great Britain’s Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, was one of the first leaders to get a reduction on the annual levy. Recently also the Netherlands did get a reduction, having been a top rate payer for years. So it is not strange that the EU is looking for other sources of income. But putting a charge on e-mails and text messages is really unbelievable.

I am pretty sure (famous last words) that this proposal will never make. First of all the levy would be discriminating towards new tech users. Given that the half of Europe is not on Internet or using mobile yet, this type of measure would be rather discriminatory.

The proposal is of course the best way to set up whole techno tribes against the Europe Union. So, when the next round of voting on a European constitution comes around, more countries, than France and the Netherlands will vote against, of course if governments still dare to allow the population to vote.

The only advantage to the proposal would be that spam messages, originating in Europe, would be charged. But European spammers would move to other countries outside the European Union.

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Blog Posting Number: 392

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