Germany gets serious on economic growth:
German states agree phone Internet licence fee
Thursday October 19, 07:54 PM
Germany's 16 states agreed on Thursday to introduce from January 1 a licence fee of 5.52 euros (3.70 pounds) a month on computers and mobile phones that can access television and radio programmes via the Internet.
Any household or company that does not already have a licence will have to pay the new levy, which is the same as the one currently charged for radio access, state premiers agreed at a meeting in the town of Bad Pyrmont.
German households pay just over 17 euros a month to watch TV, but since more radio programmes are available over the Internet than TV, state broadcaster ARD wanted the fee for computers and phones to match that of radios. (...)
Germany's TV licence fee is among the highest in Europe, with only Switzerland and the Nordic countries paying more. It funds four national public broadcasters, several local broadcasters and all the country's public radio stations. (source)
Finally, a bold step in the fight against Germany's high unemployment! Taxing the internet and advanced communications technology will certainly earn us the respect of all foreign nations.
And there's even more good stuff to come - a 3 percent rise of the value added tax to 19 percent on January 1, 2007!
I guess Germany will serve as a shining example of tax policies gone mad in Economics 101 courses all over the world...