Smash and grab
It's being widely reported that Stephen Timms, the treasury minister in charge of finding the cash to fund the Digital Britain initiative, intends to push through the 50p per month ‘broadband tax' on all fixed phone lines in order to raise an additional £175 million or so per year.
Speaking at an event held by the BCS Chartered Institute for IT, Timms said his aim is to introduce the tax as part of this year's finance bill. He's calling the new tax "the next-generation fund" and says it will help to make faster networks nationally available.
However, it's thought that the Conservatives, the presumed winners of the next general election, are opposed to the tax and will reverse it if they get into power. The Tories have openly said as much, so you have to wonder what the motivation is for pushing this through.
Just to remind you, the Digital Britain report published back in June identified 2Mbps as the target minimum broadband speed for the whole country and that just 15 percent of homes currently don't have access to that.
Do you think an additional indefinite tax burden of £175 million per year is justified in order to achieve this aim? Let us know in the HEXUS.community discussion forums.