back to article Tories would scrap 50p broadband tax

A Conservative government would scrap the planned 50 pence per month tax on every landline - which the current government plans to use to subsidise faster broadband in rural regions - "as soon as possible", according to the shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. The levy hasn't yet been implemented but is a cornerstone of the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward

    how long has this tax existed ???

    cause for 175 mill for only rural areas its obviously sitting in some fuckers pocket !!!

    Plz go die now

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Same old Tories

    Another case of Torynomics, do the spending without the collecting usually by taking money from either - a) the disabled b) pensioners c) schools d) the NHS e) the MOD or f) conveniently forgetting about the whole thing the minute its out of the papers.

    Do people forget how backwards this country was under the Torys? This country was verging on second world status outside "the city", NHS waiting lists close to 18 months or more even for simple procedures, wards being closed every week to "improve capacity" << double speak again, hospital cleaning farmed out to whoever did it cheapest or had contacts in government leaving hospitals filthy, cash for questions scandals, Schools falling apart (literally like my high school was, with leaks everywhere due to zero funding for maintenance for about 20 years), opposition to the minimum wage (seems they thought £1 per hour was a fair wage?) need I go on?

    Labour party are power mad and have let the loonies run the asylum, but still another dose of Tory hell with tax cuts for the rich and stuff everyone that really a solution?

    Plus has everyone forget the massive crime levels of the early 80s due to the same issues of unemployment, drug abuse etc??

  3. Anonymous Coward

    It's not as if...

    ...rural dwellers already get any sort of subsidy from city people.

    Obviously the costs of delivering post, electricity, gas, telephone lines, roads, garbage collection, schooling etc are no higher in rural areas, since the users pay the same. And they still seem to be able to afford their 4x4's.

  4. Rabbers

    It seems to me that

    not all business has to be operated in a city centre environment, and that a first class communication network across the entirety of the UK would allow small businesses to grow and flourish in smaller towns and villages that aren't currently on BTs network.

    Besides, it would be nice to live in the Countryside or Seaside at some point in future when I've got some money tucked away, and I would still want all my Internet luxuries to work in twenty years or so at my Country manse.

    In a way, taxing everybody now to bring benefits to rich twits that live in the country side in the future should very much be a Tory strategy, yes? no?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Meaningless words

    "Soon as possible" = "straight away" in my book. Heck, how difficult is it to just stop collecting money - most companies seem to be able to do this in 30 days? In which case, how about a firm commitment - "we'll scrap this tax within 60 days of achieving office"? Trouble is that (cynical mode on) we know that they'll get in and then find some 'good' reasons to keep the tax running.

    I'm also less than impressed that the current impression is that this tax will be collected and then handed to BT for them to do with it whatever they want. Far better to get the govt to pay a wodge of cash (subsidy in effect) for connecting each exchange/locale. Apologies if I'm mistaken, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of pay-by-results going on.

    The only way this could be less effective is (imho) if we had a govt quango in charge of this rollout instead of BT.

  6. allan wallace

    Tories would save you £6 a year on your landline..

    This is such an inconsequential amount I can't see the tories gaining any votes with this policy. Why can't they just talk about REAL policy, like putting an upper limit on local government wages, and limiting local government pensions to a reasonable amount.

  7. Shakje
    Thumb Up

    Re: Same Old Tories

    Indeed. The best bit is that this is just a more obvious example of the majority of their current policies which are:

    1. Tell people we will abolish something that was recently in the headlines

    2. ??????????

    3. Election

    Except with the extra steps:

    4. ??????????

    5. Profit

    They're basically opposing anything that any member of the public finds remotely offensive about the current government and not bothering to explain how they will do things differently.

    Thumb up, because David Cameron can stick his woolly policies on it, sit on it, and spin.

  8. Sir Runcible Spoon

    re:" that really a solution?"

    have you a better idea?

    better the devil you know as they say.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Dominic Tristram

    No impact on the rich = Tories don't care

    This 'tax' is so small for most of us and yet so important for those in rural areas, but of course those in rural areas that can afford it already have broadband (via satellite, etc), so the Tories aren't interested. The concept of universal service isn't exactly dear to the heart of Conservatives, as has been demonstrated rather admirably by their past actions. Not that the current lot are much better of course, but at least their hearts are closer to the right place, rather than being black with capitalist greed.

    No doubt the Tories will eventually implement some mad PFI deal which will end-up costing the tax payer far more, yet line the pockets of industry chums quite nicely.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 11:05 GMT

    Jesus. How can anyone say that education standards aren't falling. You don't appear to be able to read or write.

    Article : "planned 50 pence per month tax"

    AC : "how long has this tax existed ???"

    Nice use of capitals and triple question marks. Perhaps if you'd read the first sentence of the article you would have seen the word 'planned' and could have answered your own question before showing world+dog you are an idiot. This word 'planned' indicates that the tax is not part of legislation now but is in fact 'planned' for the 'future' which occurs after the 'now'.

    You then descend into txt speak in your drivel comment body. 'cause' is not a short form for because you imbecile - try coz. "Plz go die now" - this may be acceptable in the mark schemes for some examination boards' GSCEs but in the real world you simply appear to be a moron.


  12. Douglas Lowe
    Thumb Down

    Time warp

    So the Tories intend to repeal the hunting ban, and to not fund communication upgrades for the countryside. Welcome to 1910.

    PS - AC, the tax hasn't been introduced yet, as the article explained (or would have, if you'd read it).

  13. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @AC 11:05 GMT

    Alright, simmer down now. Please be nice.

  14. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Fibre in towns?

    Plenty of non-rural towns have no fibre or plans to get it. So how about sorting that out first?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: have you a better idea?

    How about people in low-density areas pay 50% more for their broadband, or 100% more, or whatever amount makes it profitable to service them?

    Then if you want to subsidise this for political reasons, send out broadband vouchers direct to the consumer, and fund them through regular taxation.

    Implementing new kinds of taxes is just a way to obfuscate the total amount of tax being collected.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    hmm he had a point though :/

    i blame early monday morning

    but in the real world you simply appear to be a moron

    i reply by mentioning you are the same but pedantic

  17. Rob Davis

    Make TV license fee become broadband tax

    ...after all, the internet may become the dominent delivery method for television.

    Households with broadband internet and television would not notice any cost difference - as the fee would be the same but charged against their broadband. On top of the iPlayer and in general, consider recent moves from Channel 4 and Sky to broadcast online.

    Households with television and no internet would still pay a license fee.

    But households with broadband and no televison would now have to pay the tax. Only fair because they likely consume some content funded by license fee payers.

    I also suggest that the PRS/MCPS/PPL be combined into a Rights Agency (this suggested before) but this new agency should have a slice of the new broadband tax to offset the costs of piracy and nuture new talent.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    An extra 50p a month - I probably lose that a month in lost change so it's hardly gonna make me vote tory. And out of all the things taxed - i actually think getting the uk a decent broadband network is actually wuite worthwhile.

    There are a dozen other taxes i'd much rather see abolished or slashed that owuld actually make a difference to the tune of more than £6 a year!

  19. Bassey

    Re: @AC 11:05 GMT

    > How can anyone say that education standards aren't falling.

    Quite right! I remember a time when such questions ended in a question mark.

    And Mike JVX Re: Same old Tories. You forgot the appalling (non-existent) public transport system amongst your excellent list that I would subtitle "What have the Tories ever done for us?".

    It truly is remarkable how short people's memories are. Britain was a shit-hole 15 years ago. I'm by no means claiming all is sweetness and light at the moment but, until the sub-prime market collapsed in the US, all most people had to complain about was civil-liberty erosion and incompetent civil servants leaving laptops on trains.

    Compared to 36+ students to a class in crumbling schools, shit-infested hospitals with patients left in corridors on stretchers, streets left to whoever wanted to fight over them (because there were no police to fight back) and a public transport infrastructure indistinguishable from an episode of Heart Beat the UK today looks like a blissful paradise.

    Although it strikes me that most of the problems of yesteryear would be most likely to impact on the poor and/or elderly. So maybe that would explain the short memories amongst the country's press and El Reg readers alike.

  20. edwardecl

    People want this 50p Tax

    You do realise this applies to landlines as in telephone lines and not broadband connections...

    Why the hell should people pay more for their telephone lines? Shouldn't this 50p Tax be put on the ISP subscription instead. Not everyone who has a phone line has a broadband connection, so is this exactly fair?

    People with cable internet and no phone-line would be unaffected for instance. Or am I reading this all wrong and do they mean landlines for Internet connections only to have 50p tax?

  21. Karl Proctor


    Any tax is bad. There's nothing else you can say.

    If you live in the country and don't have broadband, move. It's as simple as that.

    With it being a tax, it'll go up every year without fail.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    Now perhaps he'd care to tell us what the Conservative policy/proposal is?

  23. Andy 70

    oh ffs

    STOP! Because this is just about the only tax i would pay more for.

    GO! Because, like road tax, it probably won't get spent on it's name sake even if it does go ahead.

    that is all.

  24. David 105

    @Mike JVX

    "This country was verging on second world status"

    So the Tories made Britain into a Communist country then? Interesting...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What about the telephone rental tax we are still paying...?

    Yep, that cost for "line rental" was a tax introduced to subsidise the cost of rolling out copper to rural communities 20/30 years ago - it to was meant to be only until everyone had adequate telephone communications.

    We are still paying that tax today - it is pure profit collected by BT. Why do we have to pay more again for infrastructure investement when they've been collecting this profit for nothing all these years...?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    reply to AC

    how long has this tax existed ??? #

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 19th October 2009 11:05 GMT

    Flame cause for 175 mill for only rural areas its obviously sitting in some fuckers pocket !!!

    Plz go die now

    If you actually read the article it clearly says it has NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED!! so in return:

    Plz go die now.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I hope they scrap more than just that

    Taxation is always a drain on an economy.

    Need to cut things to the bone, hopefully they will just empty the NHS, remove all doctoring powers, reduce administration, simplify taxation, we need less accountants, reduce the police force to just enforce serious crimes, and increase the military. The military can also start to actually do work and combine it with training, Swords to Ploughshares.

    It is all very simple, move the gangs of youths into the military, teach them some discipline, and then there is diminished need for police and the surveillance culture.

  28. Barry Lane 1

    If only BT knew something, anything...

    The tax was the brainchild of a Labour government that sees it as the only method available to them to persuade BT to do something constructive for once vis-a-vis upgrading the UK's grumbling telecoms network. BT talks a lot about tech, but relies upon copper wire and crossed fingers. If they thought a little more about service and less about servicing the board and the shareholders, us ordinary mortals - the ones who pay them their money in the first place - would be better served and a lot happier.

    Apologies, but I may have mistaken the icon for the CEO of BT.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 11:27

    Nope. Actually probably the reverse given the infrastructure costs of a city. Afterall London nicks a load of our water and we have to fund the reservoir.

    Lets not forget BT offerd to lay fibre to every home at its privatisation if it was allowed to pump TV to people but Maggie, in love with the American open market economics said NO and banned them from doing so until now. So where are we? BT is still has virtual monopoly on our telecoms infrastructure and we are going have to pay again to get the job done right.

    I am trying to decide if we truely have democracy here, or as often seen in the birthplace Greece, it comes at heavy cost of infighting and general ineptitude.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021