As the UK nears a critical general election, the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) has released a policy position statement urging political parties contending for power to commit to a transformative agenda that ensures digital inclusivity for every UK citizen. The alarming reality that 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children in the UK are in digital poverty underscores the necessity of this commitment. The policy statement advocates not only for universal accessibility but also for empowering individuals with the knowledge and resources necessary to excel in a digitally focused society.

Elizabeth Anderson, CEO of the Digital Poverty Alliance, highlights the urgency and importance of the appeal:

“Making digital inclusivity a core component of our national agenda is essential. As digital technology becomes increasingly integral to every aspect of our lives, it’s vital that all citizens have the means to not just access but thrive within the digital environment. The forthcoming election presents a prime opportunity for the new government to recognise and address this vital need.”

In pursuit of this goal, the DPA is calling for the immediate formalisation of a specialised task force after the election. This task force, encompassing experts from healthcare, education, employment, and digital infrastructure, will develop and implement a national digital inclusion strategy. Its mission will be to identify and dismantle barriers to digital access in areas such as community support, housing, welfare, and the business sector, thereby laying a robust foundation for sustained digital inclusivity.

Joel Tiller, the Digital Poverty Alliance’s Head of Policy and Insights, emphasises the need for prompt, effective action: 

“With the election approaching, the urgency for swift and significant measures to bridge the digital divide has never been clearer. It’s imperative that the next government acts quickly to support those currently at a disadvantage, ensuring our evolution towards a digital-first society is inclusive of everyone.”

The policy statement underlines that achieving universal digital inclusion is not merely urgent but critical for the UK’s future prosperity and success. The DPA advocates for strong leadership and holistic government intervention to bring this vision to fruition, identifying digital empowerment as essential for fostering a more inclusive and equitable society for all UK citizens.

 

Envisioning a Future of Universal Digital Inclusivity

In light of the upcoming general election, the DPA’s call for digital inclusivity serves as an essential directive for the nation’s incoming leadership. Advocating for digital inclusion as a fundamental policy issue, the DPA envisions a future where every citizen can effectively navigate and succeed in a society increasingly reliant on digital technologies. This electoral moment offers a significant chance for the country to embrace a path of digital empowerment, striving to create a society where inclusivity, opportunity, and digital literacy are accessible to everyone. As the electoral campaign progresses, the DPA invites all sectors – government, industry, the third sector, and the public – to join in advocating for a future where digital inclusivity is a reality for every person in the UK, ensuring no one is left behind in our increasingly digital world.