From the TUC

A telephone poll tax?

17 Jun 2009, by in Economics, Politics

Ensuring the whole country has access to broadband is extremely sensible. I would not go quite as far as Gordon Brown as saying it is as important as fresh water, but it is essential to full participation in modern life. And as there is clear market failure – otherwise everyone would already have it – the state should intervene.

Indeed the only time I have had a chapter in a proper book (at least under my own name!) was to argue in 1989 for a new Labour government to bring high speed fibre-optic broadband to every home and business, though I’m sure it makes for quaint reading today.

But a tax on land-lines does not seem the right way to pay for it to me. It’s an utterly unprogressive tax. It is not based on ability to pay and levied on what is even more of a social necessity than broadband – the ability to call for help.

3 Responses to A telephone poll tax?

  1. The ‘Final Third’ Fund and difficulties in the US universal service fund: some thoughts « Connected Research
    Jun 17th 2009, 1:41 pm

    […] Stanley posts today on Touchstone regarding whether the levy is the right way to meet the ‘extremely […]

  2. Charlie Marks
    Jun 18th 2009, 1:00 am

    And to think we were told privatisation would mean private investment…

  3. The ‘Final Third’ levy: public or private asset? « Connected Research
    Jun 19th 2009, 5:57 pm

    […] egalitarian, and therefore attractive, argument to that, albeit that you could also argue, as Nigel Stanley at the TUC did on Wednesday, that it is a very regressive […]