MEP pitches email and text message tax

Email users might soon have to pay for the privilege of sending messages in Europe, according to a proposal from a committee of the European Parliament. A tax of €0.0000001 per email has been proposed by a member of the Parliament's Budgets Committee.

French MEP Alain Lamassoure has proposed the tax alongside a more substantial levy on text messages of €0.015 per message.

"This is peanuts but, given the billions of transactions every day, it could still raise an immense income," Lamassoure told Reuters. "Exchanges between countries have ballooned, so everyone would understand that the money to finance the EU should come from the benefits engendered by the EU."

Lamassoure reportedly wants to be able to reduce national contributions to the EU budget through the measure. Lamassoure is on a working group looking at budgetary issues. He is a member of the centre-right European People's Party, the largest coalition of parties in the Parliament.

Previous proposals aimed at introducing email charges have failed, but earlier this year AOL introduced micropayments for commercial mail as an anti-spam measure.