Internet tax suspended by Hungary PM after protests

People have questioned the rationality of the measure, Viktor Orban says

Tens of thousands of Hungarians hold up their mobile phones as they march across the Elisabeth Bridge during a protest against new tax on Internet data transfers in centre of Budapest. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh /Reuters

Tens of thousands of Hungarians hold up their mobile phones as they march across the Elisabeth Bridge during a protest against new tax on Internet data transfers in centre of Budapest. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh /Reuters

 

Hungary’s prime minister has said the government will suspend a planned tax on internet use and reconsider the matter next year.

Two protests within the past week attended by tens of thousands of people were sparked by a scheme to make internet service providers pay some 50c gigabyte of internet traffic, later proposed to be capped at different monthly rates for individual and business users.

Prime minister Viktor Orban said today the tax will not be introduced because “people have questioned the rationality” of the measure, but he added the government will hold a national consultation from mid-January about regulating and taxing the internet.

Mr Orban also said Hungary would stick to its plan to offer broadband internet access to every household by 2020.

PA