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Government scraps £6-per-year broadband tax

Finance Bill amendments see levy dumped

The Government has heeded calls by the public and dropped unpopular proposals to introduce a 'broadband tax'. The levy, intended to help finance the provision of faster broadband across the country, would have seen households forking out an extra £6 per year. The subsidy would have been added to household phone bills.

The levy was proposed by the government last year in a bid to ramp-up the roll out of the fibre-optic broadband network and ensure 90 per cent of the UK has access to super-fast broadband by 2017.

The tax, which was expected to raise around £170m, would have made up part of the £1bn Next Generation Fund, that will be used to pay for the roll-out of fibre-optic networks.

However, the Conservative Party was heavily against the tax, instead believing the TV Licence Fee and private investors should cover the cost of rolling out fibre-optic broadband.

The tax was one of three proposed charges dumped from the Finance Bill as the government prepares to push legislation through before Parliament is dissolved on 12 April in preparation before the General Election, which was yesterday confirmed for May 6.

We may not have seen the end of the '50p tax', however. If Labour wins the election the tax could be re-introduced.

See also: Gov't group to oversee roll-out of 100Mbps broadband

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