Minister says monthly charge will fund high speed networks

UK broadband tax to ‘become law’

A tax on broadband should become law before the next election, the Minister for Digital Britain has said.

According to BBC News, minister Stephen Timms said that the 50p a month tax on landlines will be presented to parliament in the Finance Bill.

"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," Timms told a debate organised by the BCS Chartered Institute for IT.

Conservative MP John Whittingdale reportedly said that his party would oppose the tax, which could raise up to £175m a year to fund broadband networks.

"I’m confident the Conservative party will oppose it. I object to it on the basis that it is another tax and is aimed at people who are using old technology," he said.

Timms told the BBC that other recommendations included in the Digital Britain report would be built on in the Digital Economy Bill, to be presented to parliament in November.

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