Digital Poverty in the UK

Date published:




Key takeaways:

Digital poverty sets up a vicious circle: those without digital connectivity lose out and become financially poorer. – Digital connectivity is no longer a luxury but a utility, as the shift to digital-by-default service provision was accelerated by the pandemic and replaced many face-to-face services. – The UK’s biggest cost of living increase in decades means that welfare payments and wages are not keeping up with rising mobile and broadband bills, leaving many people struggling to pay for the internet access they need to find work, claim welfare payments, or access health care. – Having access to connected devices is not enough; support to develop those digital skills is crucial. New national and regional approaches plus funding to tackle digital poverty and the broader issue of digital inclusion, including skills, are urgently needed.

Methodology and Methods:

The survey data included was from a phone poll conducted by British Polling Council member organisation Survation. This briefing also draws on a report written by IDS for the Public Policy team of the British Academy as part of a portfolio of projects examining Digital Poverty in the UK.

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