OK, so I was reading online that the government in the UK has decided that the 50p phone line tax may well take place after all. You may have heard that it was fought over a while back, but the government seems to have brought it back into the finance equation.
Anyway, if you don’t know already, the government is imposing that every fixed phone line payer in this country pays an extra 50p per month on their phone bill. With this the government aims to have 90% of homes/businesses in the UK on next generation broadband lines by 2017, or at least that is the target.
I, personally, have a large number of problems with this and have listed these below:
- The government recons 90% of homes/businesses in the UK will be on next gen broadband by 2017 with the help of the tax. OK, so what about the remaining 10% of homes/businesses in the UK with phone lines. They are paying 50p per month (£6 per year) on something that won’t even reach them. So the government is, frankly, stealing £6 per year from 10% of fixed phone line bill payers in the UK and they get nothing in return. Isn’t that some sort of fraud?
- Many elderly people do not broadband, and probably never will, so what benefit is this tax to them?
- Low income families will find this tax difficult to pay.
- By 2017 (that is 8 years time!) it is most likely 20MB broadband (or whatever they are considering next generation) will not be next generation. Internet (as a service) has come long way in the last 8 years, so in a further 8 years time what we consider now as next gen will most likely not be next gen.
- I personally think this will encourage a lot of people to cancel their fixed phone lines and move to their mobiles. Think about it – this is a great opportunity for mobile contract broadband providers to start offering large amounts of minutes to customers for cheap prices, and that may well make people scrap their phone lines altogether.
- There’s no guarantee that this 90% figure will be reached by 2017, so we might well end up paying even more tax.
I’m sorry Gordon, but this doesn’t make sense. However, if the government can get this tax on our bills before the next general election, we aren’t going to have much choice on whether we pay this tax or not.
The government really needs to get its act together on broadband – their plans to make our country “next generation” are just pretty pictures and unrealistic imaginations.
The government wastes too much of our money on stupid MP expenses so they’ve hardly got my trust in a brighter future for broadband.
This is a waste of time Gordon.