The plans drawn up under the government's "Digital Britain" scheme to tax all UK phone lines are to go ahead.

Stephen Timms, the treasury minister in charge of implementing the Digital Britain plans, has confirmed - despite opposition from the Conservatives - that the so-called "broadband tax" will be put in place before the next general election.

The 50p a month levy on all phone lines will raise up to £175 million a year, and will be added to a fund to support the development of super-fast broadband in Britain.

After revealing the plans at a British Computer Society debate, Timms later reiterated: "my intention is to pass legislation before the election".