EU finds novel way to raise cash - tax emails and SMS
LONDON - A EU working group, headed by a French politician, is reviewing proposals to tax SMS and emails to raise funds for future EU technology, according to Reuters.
Lead by French MEP Alain Lamassoure, who sits on the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets, the group proposes a tax of 1.5 cent (0.8p) on every text, and 0.00001 cent on every email.
Lamassoure is a member of Jacque Chirac's centre-right Union for a Popular Movement, part of the European People's Party, the largest political party in Europe.
He said: "This is peanuts, but given the billions of transactions every day, this could still raise an immense income."
The EU budget is currently funded through a combination of import duties, VAT revenues and direct contributions from member states.
A single "EU tax" has found support among the 25 EU governments, MEP's and the European Commission, the EU's executive arm. Other proposals have included a tax on airline tickets and an extra levy on oil companies.
Italy has previously looked into taxing texts as a way to offset the country's huge deficit, but the previous Italian government strongly rejected the idea.
Lamassoure sees this as a "novel and simple way to raise funds from new technology":
"Exchanges between countries have ballooned, so everyone would understand that the money to finance the EU should come from the benefits engendered by the EU."
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