Costigan Quist has an interesting post about the Digital Britain report from yesterday.
In it he argues that the 50p monthly tax on every phone line in the country that is proposed is effectively a poll tax. I agree with this. It is not based on ability to pay and is simply levied on every single phone line. This money will then be used to pay for broadband to be extended to hard to reach parts of the country.
I guess when they drafted this proposal they thought that the amounts involved are so low that it doesn't really matter. But virtually the entire current cabinet would have been viscerally opposed to the Community Charge in the late 1980s and although the amount here is much lower the principle is still the same. Why should very poor people be paying much more of their income proportionally than very rich people to pay for the extension of broadband?
This strikes me as an ill-thought through gimmick.