Feeds

Europeans rail against SMS and email tax plan

Proposal dumped - but for how long?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A storm of protest is building up against a proposal by Alain Lamassoure, member of the centre-right European People's Party, to introduce a tax on SMS text messages and emails as an alternative source of revenue for the EU budget.

Even though the proposal, which included a tax of 1.5 eurocents on text messages and a 0.00001 cent levy on every email sent, has since been shelved, several online petitions have sprung up, including Keep Email Free.

"We believe that email, in its current untaxed form, has become such a mainstay in our current way of communication that it has become an integral part of our society and the way we do business," the site says.

Keep Email Free hopes to collect 100,000 signatures.

At present, the EU is funded through a combination of import duties, value added tax revenues, and direct contributions from member states. However, the EU believes a new tax system is required.

Lamassoure previously called the proposed tax "peanuts", but said: "Given the billions of transactions every day, this could still raise an immense income."

The proposal immediately raises a lot of practical issues: who would collect the tax, ISPs or mobile operators? And would spammers escape the tax?

However, the speculation may no longer be necessary. Lamassoure issued a statement yesterday in which he suddenly distances his comments from the budget committee, claiming that "any email or SMS tax could not be an EU measure because at present as the EU has no tax raising powers".

"I have no intention of putting these issues on the table," Lamassoure says. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.