Hungary curbs plans on internet tax laws amid protests

Thousands of people took to the streets last week to demonstrate against the proposals

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The Independent Online

Plans to introduce a tax on internet traffic in Hungary have been scaled back by the country’s government, after thousands of people took to the streets in protest.

The draft bill contained a provision charging internet providers 150 forints (40p) for every gigabyte of data used, but this has now been capped at 700 forints (£1.80) per month for individuals and 5,000 forints (£12.80) for businesses.  

According to local media, an estimated 100,000 demonstrators attended a rally on Sunday against the proposals, which critics say encroaches on human rights and is an additional tax burden. The tax would also create a divide between people from different economic backgrounds and could become too expensive for some.

The protest was organised by a Facebook group with over 210,000 members, who gave the government 48 hours to withdraw the legislation and vowed to demonstrate further if their demands are not met.

The proposals were originally unveiled to Hungary’s parliament last Tuesday (26 October) by the controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose government has been accused of adopting anti-democratic policies since coming to power in 2010.

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