A telephone poll tax?
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.