La rete non va tassata

WASHINGTON, DC – Se scateni una delle più vaste proteste nell'Europa orientale dalla caduta del comunismo, vuol dire che hai fatto veramente arrabbiare gli elettori. Una situazione del genere si è verificata dopo che il governo ungherese ha proposto di istituire una "tassa sulla rete" pari a 50 centesimi di euro (0,62 dollari) per gigabyte. Più di centomila dimostranti infuriati si sono riuniti a Budapest per manifestare contro il simbolismo politico dell'imposta, nonché il suo oggettivo impatto economico, e il governo del primo ministro Viktor Orbán si è visto costretto a un rapido dietrofront.

Una tassa del genere è assurda perché è come chiedere alla gente di pagare per leggere libri o chiacchierare con gli amici. La sua proposta, tuttavia, sebbene scartata (anche se Orbán ha lasciato intendere che potrebbe ripresentarla in forma diversa), desta preoccupazione perché è espressione di una tendenza inquietante. Un gran numero di paesi ha introdotto tasse e tariffe che ostacolano l'adozione e l'utilizzo delle tecnologie dell'informazione e della comunicazione (TIC). Questi trentuno paesi, tra cui la Turchia, il Brasile e la Grecia, incrementano di almeno il 5% il prezzo di tali tecnologie, che va ad aggiungersi alla tradizionale imposta sul valore aggiunto.

In Ungheria, la tassa sulle TIC sarebbe stata particolarmente onerosa perché avrebbe aumentato i costi della rete mobile dal 5 al 15%, e avrebbe avuto un impatto ancora più incisivo sugli abbonamenti alle reti fisse a banda larga. Per i giovani e i meno abbienti, ciò avrebbe comportato un onere significativo. Un tetto di 2,30 euro a persona, fissato all'indomani della protesta pubblica iniziale e prima che la proposta fosse ritirata, avrebbe fatto poca differenza nell'alleviare il peso sugli utenti appartenenti alle fasce di reddito più basse, mentre avrebbe ridotto drasticamente le entrate complessive del programma.

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