Tax on SMS revenues to plug UK’s financial deficit?

Text messages have been implicated in many unusual things, including; notifying staff of work place redundancies, providing step-by-step instructions to doctors performing life saving surgery, causing repetitive hand strain injuries amongst teenagers, and even blamed for children being born with oversized thumbs!

Now, according to Nick Leeson, a tax on the 80 billion text messages sent in the UK every year could be levied to plug some of the holes in Alistair Darling’s budget deficit this coming Wednesday, and would help save the UK economy from further meltdown.

In 1995, rogue trader Leeson left a $1.4 billion USD financial hole in the accounts of Barings bank, leading to its eventual collapse, and him going on the run. At the time, poor internal controls and lack of risk management procedures were to blame across the banking system.

It’s strange how history always has a habit of repeating on every level! So, before Chancellor Darling goes on the run at the next general election, perhaps he might take advice from a man who knows a thing or two about empty financial holes, and levy a tax on SMS messages?

Lee Scargall
Lee Scargall
Lee is a senior risk management professional. He has extensive experience of managing both ERM and RAFM teams in telcos around the world, having worked for Ooredoo Group, Cable & Wireless and T‑Mobile UK.

Lee earned a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, for advanced research in to 3G video-telephony.