Feeds

UK.gov won't drop 50p high speed broadband tax plans - yet

Electioneering ain't what it used to be

Boost IT visibility and business value

The government is still mulling the possibility of bringing in a 50p a month stealth tax on fixed phone lines to fund next-gen broadband, despite Treasury minister Stephen Timms hinting that those plans could be shelved during election year.

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,” a Business, Innovation and Skills department spokeswoman told The Register.

“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."

News reports emerged over the weekend that claimed Timms would axe the proposed £6 a year tax to pay for high speed broadband that had been put forward in June’s Digital Britain report. It was suggested that such a move might be considered unpopular in a general election year.

The Sunday Times quoted Timms as saying that he couldn’t “definitely” commit to such a levy being legislated prior to the election next year. “I can’t say for sure,” he said.

It’s understood that the tax will be contained in a finance bill that would follow the budget in March 2010.

However, as it will be an election year Timms, who recently replaced Lord Carter - author of the Digital Britain report - told journalists that a short bill listing popular measures was more likely to be pushed through ahead of UK voters going to the polls.

“Things that are contentious will have to be left until afterwards,” he said, according to the Sunday Times.

The Tories are widely expected to oppose the 50p broadband levy being contained in the finance bill. So should they be elected to government next year, the £6 a year tax on fixed phone lines could indeed be ditched.

Meanwhile, the Digital Britain forum has a new blog post up here. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.