Labour’s bright idea is to tax Internet users!

NBR reports:

This morning, a strategy document written by Labour associate information and communications technology (ICT) spokesperson Clare Curran was accidentally sent to ICT Minister Amy Adams’ Office, Ms Curran says (though not by her specifically).

That’s the second time they have done that, it seems. Taking open data to a new level!

The document is here.

Stuff reports:

Telecom is bristling at the suggestion Labour could impose a “content levy” on internet providers.

Labour was left red-faced today after MP Clare Curran’s ideas on ICT policy were accidentally emailed to her National Party counterpart, Communications Minister Amy Adams.

These include imposing a revenue-based levy on telecommunications carriers to create a contestable fund to support the “creation and accessible distribution of New Zealand digital content”.

This is a tax on telcos and ISPs. That is effectively a tax on Internet users, as it would be passed on. So Labour is thinking of taxing people to use the Internet, and give the money to “content producers”.

One might wonder if it would be used to help fund programmes by broadcasting Icons like Brendan Horan, Tamati Coffey, Shane Taurima, Martin Bradbury, Fran Mold, Kris Faafoi and Matt McCarten!

The Herald further reports:

The minister said she only had a brief look at the documents but it appeared that Labour’s main idea was to start all their policies with the word Kiwi.

Ms Curran’s document outlined plans for policies called KiwiMap, KiwiCode, KiwiCall, KiwiCap, KiwiCloud and Kiwis Come Home.

Maybe they could call their levy plan, KiwiTax!

What is even more interesting is where all these policy ideas came from. I understand that they are very similiar to policies that will be announced by the Internet/DotCom Party and that they may have been discussed between Dotcom and Curran. The purpose being to have policy alignment between the parties, so they could be endorsed when he winds his party up just before the election and asks his supporters to vote for whichever parties he endorses.

So a simple question is whether these policy ideas were ever discussed with Kim Dotcom, and what input has he had into them.

UPDATE: Vodafone also is against Labour’s idea to tax us all more through our ISPs:

Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners described the proposed levy as “crazy and outrageous”.

“Labour should go the whole hog and nationalise everything,” he said. “The document also says multiple networks are wasteful. Why don’t we go for one network, one TV company, one bank, so there is no wastage, and then you can have as many levies as you want.”

I am worried that Labour may take up Stanners ironic suggestion and adopt it as serious policy.

UPDATE2: Clare Curran has been unfairly maligned as responsible for the accidental e-mail leak. She silently took one for the team, but it has been revealed it was actually a staff member in David Cunliffe’s office who sent it out. It seems it was Irish Bill, so that is not a good week for The Standard with one blogger sending Labour party policies to National and the other being the genius behind Cunliffe’s secret trust!

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