50p Broadband Tax Plan Could Be Scrapped
Plans unveiled in the Digital Britiain report for a 50p broadband tax could yet be scrapped following a week of mixed messages from Government officials.
The proposed 50p per month broadband tax to be levied on every UK home with a landline was put forward to help fund the roll out of next generation broadband across the UK and in particular, to ensure each UK home had access to at least 2Mb broadband speeds.
Since the publication of the plans, there has been much debate surrounding whether the tax raised would be anywhere near enough to fund the project.
There has also been an angry reaction from consumers who naturally do not wish to have to pay another tax.
Such a reaction caused Stephen Timms, the new Communications Minister, to hint that the broadband tax plans could be scrapped in the run up to the general election next year.
Commenting on this to the Times newspaper at the weekend, Timms said, “If the question is, is the levy definitely going to be legislated for this side of the election, I can’t say for sure. Things that are contentious will have to be left until after the election”.
However, a Business, Innovation and Skills Department spokeswoman told The Register today that “Uk.gov remains committed to the timetable for introducing the 50p levy on fixed lines in 2010, as set out in the Digital Britain report”.
The spokeswoman continued, “We will be consulting on the ‘Final Third fund’ in the autumn, but no final decisions have yet been made about the legislative vehicle for introduction of the levy”.
With the Conservative party against the broadband tax plans, the future of the 50p broadband tax could well be decided after next years election.