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Around 30,000 low income households in our area are paying over the odds for their broadband as Government fails to act

November 10, 2021 6:19 PM

Low income households in East Staffs, Lichfield and Tamworth districts are paying too much for their broadband because the Government has not forced providers to offer cheaper tariffs, an analysis by the Liberal Democrats has found.

So-called 'social tariffs', which typically offer broadband access between £10 and £20 a 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.

Research by the House of Commons Library suggests that around 13,000 households in East Staffs, 7,000 in Lichfield and 1,000 in Tamworth districts 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.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jamie Stone MP, said:

"Some of the most vulnerable consumers 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.

"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 to anyone who needs it."