Is the land-line tax a Labour own-goal?

Is the land-line tax a Labour own-goal?

Won’t it hurt those least likely to benefit?

“90% of the country to be given broadband access, enabling faster internet services, to be funded by a 50p a month tax on those who have phone lines” Share
Good idea 39%
Bad idea 49%
Don’t know 12%
PoliticsHome budget poll March 26

There’s an interesting negative response in the Politics Home budget poll to Labour’s plan to fund the expansion of broadband by putting a tax of 50p a month on landlines.

It doesn’t sound much but my guess is that it’s really going to irritate those most reliant on land-lines for whom that sum of money might seem a lot – old age pensioners.

I don’t have figures but I guess that this group is much less likely to have mobiles and depend more on landlines than the rest of the population. I would guess, as well, that they are even less likely to have broadband.

This is the problem with hypotheticated taxes – people are much more likely to be supportive if they can see the benefit for themselves and much more opposed if they can’t. Pensioners have got another weapon – they are much more likely to be on the electoral register and much more likely to vote.

Expect to see this developed into a campaign issue.

Ladbrokes, meanwhile, has issued a new prediction – a Tory majority of twelve.

Mike Smithson

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