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Communications Drive to Step Up Home PC Ownership

8 October 2003

The Office of the e-Envoy has unveiled its latest plans to increase home PC ownership -  encouraging employers to take advantage of tax breaks available on computers lent to staff.

Research conducted last year for the OeE found numbers of UK households with computers compared unfavourably with countries such as Sweden, where tax-advantaged Home Computing Initiatives are seen as a key factor in establishing the country as a world leader in e-business, e-learning and eGovernment take-up.

However in the UK employers are apparently unaware of a £500 annual tax exemption introduced in the 1999 Finance Act and unclear as to how it is implemented, necessitating, the OeE believes, a new Government-backed communications drive.

To lend credibility to an industry-led marketing campaign, the OeE now proposes to produce in the New Year Government guidelines on the tax exemption, which it hopes will result in more employees taking up such schemes, as well as knock-on effect in improved levels of internet take-up, ICT skills and better productivity.

The proposals are subject to public consultation until 29 December 2003.

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