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Deutsch: ‘Internet tax is dead’

History

The internet tax the government had previously decided to levy on internet users “is dead” and it is a “bad and faulty” idea that will “never be revived”, Tamás Deutsch (pictured), the governmentʼs commissioner for the online national consultation on digital developments (InternetKon) said in a video promoting the consultation.

The politician added that in the framework of InternetKon, Hungarians can decide how the tax burdens on internet services can be reduced. Deutsch noted that Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that decisions made by Hungarians as part of the national consultation will determine how the government decides on the issues in consideration.

The InternetKon national consultation  was launched as a follow up to the governmentʼs plans to introduce a levy on internet, based on downloaded data traffic. An estimated 100,000 Hungarians protested the tax last October, taking to the streets and filling Elizabeth Bridge while holding their phones in the air – an image that made headlines around the world.

Deutsch previously mentioned the possibility of Hungary introducing an extraordinary levy on “multinational internet-based companies”, commonly referred to as the “Google tax”. 

Hungarian online daily origo.hu reported that the response to InternetKon is very low, with only about 22,000 replies having been filed, as compared to the national consultation on migration, which received just over one million replies. It is important to note, however, that the national consultation on immigration was mailed to Hungarian citizens and was also available online, while the national consultation on digital developments is only available online.

The deadline for InternetKon was originally the end of July, according to Origo, but was recently extended to September 30.

Origo notes that the government spent HUF 1.34 mln on the national consultation on immigration, while the national consultation on digital developments is only expected to cost taxpayers HUF 380 mln.

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