Holidaymakers could face higher phone bills when they return home from trips outside the EU
HOLIDAYMAKERS who use their mobile phones outside the EU may be hit with higher bills, following an announcement in today’s budget speech.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said today that mobile phone roaming charges outside the EU would be subject to VAT, a 20 per cent tax paid by the consumer.
At the moment, VAT is applied to bills inside the EU – meaning millions of mobile phone customers could see their costs rise when on holiday.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hammond said: “…introduce UK VAT on roaming telecoms services outside the EU in line with international practice.”
It is unclear whether VAT will also be charged on calls made in European countries once Britain has left the EU.
The European Union is due to phase out mobile roaming charges altogether for those living within the EU.
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In February, The European Parliament said that was one step closer to making a deal to cap wholesale roaming charges.
Before the changes, the cost of using a mobile phone while on holiday often left many customers with shock bills.
Travellers should always check their network’s roaming charges for their destination before the travel – and see if there’s a bundle or add-on that could limit the cost.
Today’s budget also unveiled the government’s plan to help the UK become a world leader in mobile technology.
Mr Hammond also confirmed a £16 million boost for the UK’s 5G mobile network in the form of a new “innovation” hub.
He also announced £200 million to support a local “full-fibre” broadband network and £270 million towards technology, including robotics, biotech and driverless cars.
Key points from the Spring Budget
Here are the Chancellor’s proposed changes
- SOCIAL CARE
An extra 2bn funding for social care and the NHS has been pledged over the next three years
- NATIONAL INSURANCE
Millions of self-employed workers will see their National Insurance bill rise from 9% to 11% over the next two years
Tax free childcare to save families up to £2,000 a year as entitlement for three and four-year-olds is doubled
- BOOZE AND FAGS
Duties on alcohol to rise with inflation and tobacco to increase at 2% above inflation
Living Wage to increase by 30p an hour from £7.20 to £7.50
- BUSINESS RATES
Tax break of £1,000 for pubs and a £300million discretionary fund for councils to help struggling businesses
Chancellor announces levy of 8p to a can of Coca-Cola and 24p for a litre of sugary drinks
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