Budapest, October 27 (MTI) – The government supports a proposal put forward by the ruling Fidesz party on capping the tax to be levied on internet traffic at 700 forints or 2.3 euros a month, Economy Minister Mihaly Varga said.
The tax would not be payable by subscribers but by telecoms, Varga said in parliament on Monday. The four largest telcos in Hungary generated 75 billion forints in profit in 2013, he said. Varga said in connection with a mass demonstration on Sunday against the tax after which the Fidesz headquarters were vandalised that “violence is completely unacceptable.”
Jozsef Tobias, head of the opposition Socialist Party, said that the internet tax was not acceptable in any format. Such a tax would work against modernisation and would hinder the construction of a knowledge-based society.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party also voiced protest against the planned tax, moreover, it proposed that internet service should be offered free of charge. Deputy group leader Gergely Farkas proposed a five-party dialogue on the matter.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said earlier in the day that although Sunday’s mass protest targeted the government’s internet tax plans, the demonstration had turned into a protest against the “Orban regime”. The banners, speeches and chanting at the demonstration all suggest that people “have had enough of the dismantling of a rule of law, Fidesz’s arrogance, government corruption and the fact that the regime had turned its back on Europe,” DK said in a statement. The party welcomes resistance against the Orban regime and urges violence-free protests, it added.
The opposition E-PM called for an extraordinary meeting of parliament’s national security committee on violent attacks against Fidesz headquarters after Sunday’s protest against the internet tax plans.