Digital future – who benefits?
THE proposal to digitise the benefits system surely indicates politicians live in a different world.
Yes, technically, it a good idea. But it is the common sense aspects that beggars belief.
What if a family are not computer-literate, can't afford to use a computer or are too old to learn how to use one?
Watch the authors of the proposal try to answer these problems by allocating funds to libraries for a few more computers. They might even fund free computer literacy courses at the libraries or evening classes.
Imagine the queues of people outside local libraries desperate to get help with their claims.
Of course the DWP will allocate some funds for call centres to answer problems. These will be qualified by hollow promises on response times and for a short time they could be free, but not for long.
They will be quickly replaced by so-called low-rate calls.
Civil servants will earn promotions on their claims that they can make the system work.
The internet world is probably awash with expensive flawed or failed computer systems. How can anyone have any confidence that this idea will work?