Call for lower broadband costs to support low income Angus households

Thousands of people in Angus are overpaying for their broadband, new research has suggested.

By
Mark Dowie
Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 6:57am
Call for lower broadband costs to support low income Angus households
Rod Falconer has said a reduction in broadband bills could be a “breathing space” for families.

An analysis by the Scottish Liberal Democrats has found that 10,659 low income households across the county are paying too much for their broadband because the UK Government has not forced providers to offer cheaper tariffs.

The party has said that so-called ‘social tariffs’, which typically offer broadband access between £10 and £20 per month, are only currently offered by some providers.

But changes to the law that came into force last year mean that the Government now has the ability to force broadband providers to offer these cheaper deals.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to offer relief to families facing a cost of living crisis, by forcing broadband providers to offer cheaper deals to vulnerable consumers in Angus.

Research by the House of Commons Library suggests that those 10,659 households in the county could see a reduction in their bills under the Liberal Democrat proposals.

These households are among the seven million across the country that are currently missing out on cheaper internet access.

Rod Falconer, Liberal Democrat candidate for Arbroath West, Letham & Friockheim, said that the added cost of broadband connection is an added burden on Angus families already facing what could be a difficult winter for them.

He said: “Some of the most vulnerable consumers in Angus are bracing themselves for a cost of living crisis, with energy bills soaring through the roof, a slash to Universal Credit and unfair Tory tax hikes leaving everyone feeling the squeeze.

“A reduction in broadband bills could be the breathing space families in Angus need this winter.

"Instead this Conservative Government is instead choosing to sit on its hands and leave thousands here paying over the odds.”

Jamie Stone MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, added: “Access to broadband is vital for learning, for work, and for staying connected.

"The Liberal Democrats think the very least the Government can do is offer the lifeline of social tariffs.”

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