£6 a year phone tax shelved
Wednesday 23 June 2010
The Chancellor hammered the final nail into the coffin of Labour's controversial "telephone tax" and will look to incentivise private companies and use licence fee money to expand Britain's superfast broadband network.
The Labour government had planned the introduction of a £6 a year levy on phone landlines, proposed in the Digital Britain report drawn up last year by Lord Carter.
George Osborne reiterated the Conservatives' opposition to the move, confirming that the landline tax would be abolished "before it is even introduced".
He said: "We need investment in our digital infrastructure, but the previous government's landline duty is an archaic way of achieving this." Mr Osborne pledged broadband speeds of at least 2 megabits per second to everyone in the country, as well as bringing superfast broadband to as many homes as possible. Virgin Media's superfast network covers just over half of UK households, while BT is planning a roll-out to two-thirds of homes. The companies have sought support on reaching the so-called "final third", saying it is not economic to bring broadband to the most rural areas.
Rather than the tax, Mr Osborne pledged to encourage private-sector investment in superfast broadband "by making regulatory changes to reduce the cost of roll-out". The Government will also divert the excess cash from the TV licence fee that went into the digital switchover fund, putting it into three pilots pushing universal broadband.
Life & Style blogs
Men in tights: getting to the bottom of the latest trend
Night Nurse could put drivers over new drug limit
Snapchat removed the Best Friends list feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
From plus-size models to athletic silhouettes, meet the models changing the fashion industry right now
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...