An Early Day Motion has been tabled by Labour’s Glasgow North West MP John Robertson which criticises the government’s digital by default agenda – which wants all public services to be made available online and doing away with face-to-face meetings and phone calls in hopes of saving billions of pounds – in light of the revelation that 7 million UK citizens have never used the internet.
According to the motion: “the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has made no assessment of the free community internet access points in the UK” and urges the government “to initiate a strategy for increasing internet take-up and internet provision amongst vulnerable groups, such as elderly people, those on low incomes and disabled people.”
The motion has been signed by 44 politicos from all sides of the House and want to have a parliamentary debate oon the matter.
Earlier this week, when Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd was pressed by MPs to justify the government’s digital agenda, he said that “by introducing new digital services and redesigning old ones, we expect to save the taxpayer and service users around £1.2bn by 2015,” adding that “it is also about the opportunity to change totally the way the public engage with the government and radically improve that experience.”
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Public sector needs to take action to help everyone enjoy the benefits that digital can offer