UPDATE: As many of you may have realised, there is no EU camera tax coming our way! This was a simple April Fool. You can all breathe easier now!
Crazy new EU plans could see every amateur photographer in the country hit with a punitive annual licence fee simply for owning a decent camera.
The potty proposal, hidden in the small print of a recent EU consultation document, would force every EU citizen owning a camera worth more than £200 (€240) to pay an annual charge of 10 per cent of the camera’s value – for as long as they own the camera in question.
The plans are part of a series of measures designed to increase government revenues in the austerity-hit Eurozone, but UK campaigners are already dubbing it the ‘Camera Poll Tax’.
One passionate amateur photographer is so incensed that he has set up an online petition calling on the UK government to rule out introducing the tax.
51-year-old Geoff Travers from Margate, Kent says the plans amount to little more than a Franco-German raid on photographer’s piggy banks.
“It’s disgraceful. First they outlawed pounds and ounces, then they started legislating on the curvature of bananas, now they’re focusing on filching our finances – I’m all for free trade, but we can’t have faceless bureaucrats in Brussels infringing on photographers’ hard-won freedoms.
“William Henry Fox Talbot would be turning in his grave if this law was passed,” he added.
Travers hopes to secure the backing of telly quiz king and ardent TV License fee opponent Noel Edmonds and has written to prominent Eurosceptic politicians.
A spokesperson for the European Commission declined to comment when approached by Digital Camera for this article.