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Broadband tax ‘set’ to become law

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Plans to introduce a tax on landline telephones in order to fund the development of faster broadband links could become law within a year.

Stephen Timms, the Treasury minister responsible for managing the Digital Britain programme, told a conference held by the BCS Chartered Institute for IT that the government intends to include the levy in this autumn’s Finance Bill.

The tax – 50p a month is to be charged on every fixed line telephone – should raise between £150 million and £175 million annually.

The money would be invested in upgrading broadband networks across the UK so that they can deliver much faster connections.

Mr Timms said: “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.”