LETTER: To roam or not to roam?

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As your readers are probably aware, the European Parliament has voted through EU proposals on mobile phone roaming charges.

The roaming charges measure is being trumpeted by the EU, and by David Cameron, as evidence of the consumer benefits which we all derive from EU membership. It is nothing of the sort in my view.

It is a profoundly regressive measure – Robin Hood in reverse – which will cost ordinary people but benefit the well-off.

It will cut charges for well-heeled jet-setters and business executives, but it will result in higher costs for domestic users. The operators will have lost a major revenue stream. In my view they will seek to recover it, and the only place to recover it is from domestic prices.

It is true regular travellers, including MEPs, will get lower prices, but ‘Mrs Lumsden in’ will pay more.

Yet again we see European regulation delivering unintended consequences and perverse incentives. Non-roaming customers will be subsiding roaming customers.

This inevitable consequence will be self-evident to people who have worked in businesses and understand the impact of taxes, costs and incentives.

Roger Helmer


for the East Midlands