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The government has denied making plans to tax search engines such as Google to help fund its Digital Britain project.

Earlier in the week, the Daily Mail suggested that ministers were drawing up proposals for such a policy, with the intention of using the revenue to accelerate widespread access to broadband in the UK.

The government has claimed that this will not be the case, insisting the money leftover from television's Digital Switchover is earmarked for this purpose.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said that the claim had "no basis whatsoever".

"As announced in last month's budget, we intend to use some of the underspend from the Digital Switchover Help Scheme to fund the delivery of universal broadband," she commented.

Through Digital Britain, the government is hoping to make access to 2Mb broadband standard throughout UK.

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