Complaints mount about Hungarian government's plan for onerous tax on Internet use

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Hungarian Internet users, activist groups and opposition parties are rejecting a government plan to impose a heavy tax on Internet use from next year.

The tax, included in the 2015 budget plan, would force Internet service providers to pay 150 forints ($0.62, 0.49 euros) per gigabyte of data downloaded or uploaded by users.

Opposition parties on Wednesday called on the government to scrap the plan, while Hungary’s Information and Communication Technology Association said the tax would lead to a fall in Internet use and increase costs for businesses and consumers.

The economy ministry estimated annual revenues from the tax at 20 billion forints ($82.5 million, 65 million euros), but experts said that based on recent data on Hungary’s Internet use, the figure could be several times higher.