Telecom’s Sector confirms cost-of-living support in meeting with Government

Telecoms industry leaders met with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, and David Buttress, the Government’s Cost of Living Tsar, today to discuss how the sector supports its customers in the cost-of-living crisis.

The broadband sector is currently undergoing a significant investment cycle with more than £35bn of funding committed to fibre rollout and the highly competitive market is offering uncapped packages at low prices. While broadband only makes up a small percentage of household spend and prices have not been subject to the significant rises that we have seen across gas and electricity, our members recognise the specific pressure of the cost-of-living crisis. Social tariffs are now offered by a range of providers and are available to every eligible household across the UK. Our members also offer more tailored support to customers who are struggling.

Today’s meeting was a welcome opportunity to discuss the support that is already provided in the market but also to see what more can be done, including more prominent promotion of social tariffs and support offers. Government support will be needed to raise awareness, but our members also suggested that Government could offer further support by reviewing VAT – broadband is currently taxed at 20%, the same as luxury goods.

Commenting on the meeting ISPA Chair Andrew Glover, says:

“The telecoms sector knows that people are facing real challenges with the cost-of-living crisis. Our members are determined to do what they can to help their customers through this period and, together with government, we will work to raise greater awareness of the support available. These commitments, along with the social tariffs that are available from many members, will hopefully help people in need at this challenging time. We encourage customers who are struggling with their bills to reach out to their broadband provider to get help.”