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Tiga hits out at broadband 'tax' proposal

Piracy compensation burden shouldn't fall on "innocent people" warns Wilson

Tiga CEO Richard Wilson has hit out at a government idea to impose a tax on broadband users, ostensibly for the purpose of building a compensation fund for companies that suffer at the hands of piracy.

According to Wilson the idea is an "Alice in Wonderland" policy, which is wrong on moral and practical grounds.

"The idea that a universal tax on broadband bills should be imposed in order to compensate entertainment companies for losses incurred from piracy and illegal downloads is wrong in principle," he said. "Innocent people should not be required to pay heavier broadband bills because of the activities of criminals.

"The suggested policy is also wrong on practical grounds. The tax could generate perverse behaviour: individuals would have a stronger incentive to illicitly download material if they were required to pay this putative tax.

"Government policy should aim to provide broadband - an essential part of modern business infrastructure - at the lowest possible price to consumers and businesses. The last thing that UK businesses need in the current economic climate is another tax. We need to be lifting the tax burden, not adding it to it. We need to leave businesses with more money for investment, not less.

"A broadband tax makes no sense. It is the tax policy of Alice in Wonderland," he added.

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Phil Elliott