Friday, March 06, 2009

Tempting text tax

So, the Green Party suggests that one new tax that the government should impose is a 1c tax on all texts. Let me just say that if we must have new taxes - and I'm never a fan of new taxes - this one is about as good a tax as I can imagine.

Last night I went through my sent texts and found that I'd sent 27 since October 1. That works out roughly at around 80 texts per year. I can handle an extra 80c on my tax bill - and truth is, I might even cut back if the cost of texting is increased.

Of course the mobile phone companies are opposed and I don't blame them. Texting is a gold mine for them. They're already worried about people switching to Skype-enabled phones.

I can't really imagine all those teen texters cutting back if they have to pay an extra 1c per text, but maybe mommy & daddy will not increase their phone allowance. That might force teens to reduce the number of texts they send even if they don't want to. However, I can easily imagine that those same teens would put up with the lower quality Skype service if they can get free messaging and calls. Oh yeah, you can hear the painful screams coming from Vodafone and O2.

And, that's why I like the text tax more than most taxes. It might get rolled out just as texting dies out in favor of internet IM'ing via mobile phones. The government may never realize the €146m in revenues that they're expecting.