Monthly 50p phone tax is scrapped by coalition

A TAX on fixed-line phones, designed to fund the rollout of superfast broadband, was scrapped by the chancellor yesterday.

Labour had called for a 50p a month levy on phone-lines, which was to be invested in extending fibre-optic broadband to rural areas. The previous government had expected to bring in up to £175m a year through the tax.

However, it faced criticism for failing to explain how homes with multiple phone-lines would be hit and claims the tax was unfair on the poor and elderly.

George Osborne said: “We need investment in our digital infrastructure but the previous government’s landline duty is an archaic way of achieving this, hitting 30m households who happen to have a fixed telephone line.

“I am happy to be able to abolish this new duty before it is even introduced,” he said.