让互联网免税

华盛顿—当你引起了东欧自共产主义倒台以来最大规模的游行示威时,你知道你触怒了选民。匈牙利政府就是这么做的——最近,它出台了一项“互联网税”,每GB征收50欧分。超过100,000示威者涌上布达佩斯街头,怒批这项税收的政治象征意义和实实在在的经济影响。总理奥班政府很快就做了让步。

匈牙利的征税计划荒谬可笑——就像是要向读书收费或让人们花钱与朋友们说话一样。但是,该计划即使被放弃(尽管奥班暗示会以另一种形式卷土重来),也仍然令人担忧,因为它是令人不安的趋势的一部分。大量国家引入了有碍于信息和通信技术(ICT)使用的税收和关税。总共有31个国家——包括土耳其、巴西和希腊——除了标准的增值税之外又给ICT带来5%的额外成本。

匈牙利的互联网税计划尤其苛刻,因为它将把移动数据成本提升5—15%,并且给固定宽带订户带来更大的影响。对年轻人和穷人来说,这是一项很重的负担。每人2.30欧元的封顶额——在方案收回之前迫于民众呼声匆忙实施——几乎无助于缓解低收入互联网用户的负担,同时还大大减少了该计划的总收入。

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