Pour un Internet non taxé

WASHINGTON, DC – Celui qui parvient à déclencher une des plus grandes manifestations en Europe de l'Est depuis la chute du communisme, est sûr d'avoir exacerbé l'électorat. C'est exactement ce qu'a fait le gouvernement hongrois en proposant récemment un « impôt Internet » de 50 cents d'euro ($ 0,62) par gigaoctet. Plus de 100 000 manifestants se sont rassemblés à Budapest, furieux de la symbolique politique de l'impôt et de son impact économique très réel. Le gouvernement du Premier ministre Viktor Orbán a rapidement fait marche arrière.

L'impôt proposé par la Hongrie était absurde : de nature à proportionner les frais sur la lecture de livres ou à faire payer les gens pour avoir des conversations avec leurs amis. Mais cette proposition, même si elle a été rejetée (bien qu'Orbán ait laissé entendre qu'il pourrait la ramener sous une autre forme) reste préoccupante, car elle fait partie d'une tendance inquiétante. Un grand nombre de pays ont introduit des impôts et des taxes qui font obstacle à l'adoption et à l'utilisation des technologies de l'information et des communications (TIC). En tout, 31 pays (dont la Turquie, le Brésil et la Grèce) ajoutent 5% ou davantage au coût des TIC, en plus des TVA habituelles.

En Hongrie, l'impôt proposé aurait été particulièrement onéreux, car il aurait fait augmenter le coût des données mobiles de 5% à 15% et aurait eu un impact encore plus fort sur les abonnements fixes à haut débit. Pour les jeunes et les pauvres, cela aurait représenté une charge importante. Un plafond de 2,30 € par personne, proposé à la hâte après le tollé public et avant le retrait de la proposition, aurait peu fait pour alléger cette charge sur les utilisateurs d'Internet à faible revenu, tout en réduisant considérablement les recettes globales du programme.

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