S4M-13964: Internet Access In Deprived Communities

17 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the recently-published report by Citizens Advice Scotland, Internet Access in Glasgow’s Deprived Areas; understands that the data, which was collected in 2013, suggests that 70% of respondents were either unable to claim benefits online or would need help to this, 42% had never used the internet and 35% were unable to use a computer; understands that these figures are substantially worse in deprived areas, with half of the respondents having never used the internet and 40% being unable to use a computer at all; considers that, given the digitalisation of the welfare system, this relative lack of digital access for people living in such areas is particularly alarming; agrees with the report in its conclusion that considerable effort is needed to address this problem, and hopes that future policy initiatives, such as Digital by Default, will instead take consideration of the reported links between deprivation, age and ability to use the internet rather than exacerbate already difficult circumstances.