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Tax proposed on emails and text messages

The European Union is looking at introducing a tax on emails and text messages as a method to provide funding for its operations.

The move is being looked at by a European Parliament group, run by Alain Lamassoure, a French MEP and member of Jacques Chirac's UMP party. He wants to tax each SMS by 0.8p and have a £0.000005 levy on every email.

If the tax went through, it would bring huge financial implications for businesses.

Ling Valentine, the flamboyant owner of LINGsCARS.com, the online new-car leasing business, says: “Businesses like mine use the internet heavily to increase speed and efficiency and to improve communication and customer service. To tax efficiency is a ludicrous concept.

"Communication is the lifeblood of any economy. It is always a mistake to stifle communication.

"If the EU plans go ahead, legitimate businesses will be hit. How are they going to levy the tax from the spammers who send thousand of emails everyday?

"Most of them come from outside the EU. It is another example of useless legislation that makes life harder for entrepreneurs like me who try their hardest to increase electronic communication, not restrict it," says Valentine.

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