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MP slams 'broadband tax' as unfair to South Lakes residents

March 1, 2010 12:00 AM

Tim Farron MP has today slammed the governments plan to charge people with fixed phone lines 50p per month to help fund ultra-fast broadband has been condemned as "unfair".

The governments Digital Economy Bill contains the provision to roll out high speed digital broadband nationally but to pay for the this a 50p charge will be levied on everyone with a fixed home phone line regardless whether they use the internet or not. This will be seen as particularly unfair by people in the South Lakes who have access only to lower speed broadband, but who will be expected to pay for the higher speed connections of people in urban areas.

Tim has been leading the campaign to bring rural broadband to the South Lakes and will be launching his own facebook campaign this week His criticisms of the 'broadband tax' have been echoed by an influential committee of MPs last week who branded the levy on all fixed-line telephones "regressive and poorly targeted", saying it meant poor people would end up paying for a service that only the wealthier used.

Tim said: "I believe this tax will place a disproportionate cost on people who will not, or are unable to reap the benefits. I am totally committed to roll out broadband for South Lakeland and making sure that our economy can flourish in the next century. I am calling on the government to look again at the funding for this and come up with a more equitable way to pay for it."