Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Wash-up 2010: broadband tax gone, for now

The Register reports that Labour's broadband tax has not survived wash-up:
The Tories forced the government to drop a 50p-a-month tax on every landline last night as ministers made deals to get their budget plans through before the election.

The levy had been intended to pay for rollout of fibre optic cables in rural areas.

The Conservatives hailed the outcome as a "victory for consumers". The measure had been the centrepiece of last year's "Digital Britain" report.

The government folded because it is under pressure to pass remaining legislation this week in a bout of legislative horse-trading known as the "wash-up". Opposition parties use the scramble to win concessions, although it is unusual for the government to drop parts of the Finance Bill.
It's great to see this tax killed off (along with the increase in cider duty), but I dread to think which terrible laws will get rushed through in return. What a dysfunctional process.

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