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Govt mulls tax on telephone, internet usage

The National Economy Ministry is proposing to the government a tax on landline and mobile telephone and internet usage that could raise HUF 40 billion-50 billion, internet portal Origo said on Friday, citing sources at the ministry.

The government is expected to approve at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday cost-savings measures for this year and next in an updated version of Hungary's Convergence Programme that must be sent to Brussels by April 30.
The cabinet must fill a HUF 150 billion budget gap this year and another HUF 400 billion hole in 2013, Origo said. Origo said measures were likely to include a spending freeze at ministries and local governments, which could produce as much as HUF 250 billion in savings, as well as a tax on financial transactions, that could generate HUF 100 billion-200 billion.
Restructuring of the public transport system could save HUF 10 billion-15 billion and several billion could be saved as the result of a review of disability pensioners. The remaining HUF 40 billion-50 billion could come from a tax on mobile telephone and internet usage, the portal said. The National Economy Ministry declined to comment on the report when asked by MTI. Magyar Telekom also declined comment.