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Telephones: North West

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of (a) households and (b) businesses in each local authority area in the North West that will be (i) liable for and (ii) exempt from payment of the levy on telephone lines proposed in the Digital Britain White Paper. (296439)

This Department has made no specific estimate of the number of (a) households and (b) businesses in each local authority area in the North West which will be (i) liable for and (ii) exempt from payment of the levy on telephone lines proposed in the Digital Britain White Paper.

Ofcom estimates that there are over three million fixed lines in the North West area. We do not have estimates on the number of people on benefits in this area but recognise that those on the lowest incomes might have difficulty paying the fixed line levy and that is why we have confirmed that those on social telephony schemes will be exempt. The social telephony schemes are available to those on income support, income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance (income rated) or Guaranteed Pensions Credit.