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Scrapping the new £6-a-year broadband levy could cut rural communities off from the UK's broadband network, a West Yorkshire MP has claimed.

Dewsbury member Shahid Malik has slammed the Conservative Party for vowing to scrap the 50p-a-month broadband tax, announced in the recent pre-Budget report, if it enters government at the coming general election.

According to the Huddersfield Examiner, he has promised to help improve rural broadband speeds in isolated communities across the county.

Mr Malik said the new tax was needed to help fund a new broadband service for rural villages including Birdsedge, High Flatts and Upper Cumberworth.

In addition, he said he had contacted Stephen Timms, the Minister for Digital Britain, to establish when Denby Dale, near Huddersfield, can expect to receive the funding it needs to improve broadband services.

Opponents of the new levy, including the parliamentary opposition, claim it could lead to low-income households abandoning their broadband connections altogether.

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