Low income families could get vouchers up to £700 in value to get their household connected up to the Internet.

This was the pledge made by PM Gordon Brown as part of new government proposals to give more people access to the Internet.

Around 1.4 million homes could benefit from the new deal - with means tested vouchers worth between £100-700 sent out to pay for broadband connections, technical support or even computers.

The scheme is expected to cost the tax payer £300 million and will run for 3 years.

"To ensure we are prepared for the times to come, the Government will fund one million more households to get online, enabling parents to link with the teachers at their children's school and helping young people with their homework and coursework", Brown will tell delegates at the Labour Conference in Manchester.

However, critics of the government are already pointing to the fact that it was none other than Gordon Brown who, as chancellor, scrapped the Home Computing Initiative (HCI) 2 years ago.

This deal meant that companies could "loan" PCs to their employees as a tax-free benefit.