Feeds

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

Electioneering ain't what it used to be

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.