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Brown: digital Britain could save UK billions

Steve Dinneen
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PRIME MINister Gordon Brown yesterday claimed he could save billions in public spending through new technology.

Outlining his vision for the UK’s digital future, he said Labour would introduce a new MyGov website from which people could manage various aspects of their life, including pensions, tax payments, healthcare and education.

He said the ambitious project would make the UK a world leader in digital integration and save billions in administration costs.

And he laid out his plans for rolling out superfast broadband across the country. He slammed Tory proposals to allow broadband proliferation to be market-led, claiming it would create a “digital divide” in which people from rural areas could be left behind in an age of increasing reliance on the internet.

Labour plans to fund the roll-out by installing a £6-a-year tax on phone-lines. Some media analysts are already speculating the cost saving promises may be premature. One said: “The investment in this system would cost an incredible amount so any saving at all is going to be in the very long-term.”

The Confederation of British Industry was also sceptical about funding the plans through taxation rather than commercial contracts.