Broadband Tax Promised for UK

September 24, 2009 Taxation in UK  No comments

The British Government has promised to implement a £6 annual tax on every fixed telephone line in the country.

Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has stated that the British Government will instate a 50 pence monthly tax on landlines. The levy will be used to fund improvements and infrastructure upgrades of high-speed internet access across the country. The levy is expected to raise approximately £175 million per year.

The tax, which has been dubbed “the broadband tax”, is set to be introduced in November, through the upcoming Finance Bill. Government predictions foresee the tax coming into effect before the end of 2009. Stephen Timms justified the proposed levy at its announcement, saying “We want to make high speed networks nationally available. The next-generation fund will help that and we will legislate for it this side of a general election,” and “I am wholeheartedly committed to plans set out in the Digital Britain white paper for a levy to ensure that over 90% of the country has access to next generation broadband by 2017.”

The idea has already been met with political opposition. Jeremy Hunt, shadow culture secretary, commented on the idea, saying “Slapping on a broadband tax is an old economy solution to a new economy problem. Labour has run out of ideas and the taxpayer is being forced to pay the price.”

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