New figures have revealed a crisis of public computers cuts across the North West.
589 computers have been lost from libraries in the North West since 2010, and 58 Jobcentre computers have been cut since 2014.
This is a digital exclusion double-whammy that punishes the poorest in our society, especially as Universal Credit applications are moved online. One in five unemployed people do not have access to the internet.
This comes following recent Lloyds Bank research showing that 10% of people in the North West have zero digital skills.
For people who need to fill in Universal Credit or job applications, access to a computer is essential but the closure of libraries and jobcentres is reducing access to free public computers. One in five people out of work don’t have access to the internet, and under this Tory Government there are fewer and fewer places for them to turn.
We need to do more to help those who do not have the skills or resources to get online, and make sure alternative ways to access government services don’t disappear and exclude people in the rush to make everything digital.
|Region||Jobcentre computers in 2014||Jobcentre computers in 2019||Jobcentre computers cuts since 2014|
|London and Home Counties||1794||1723||71|
|Region||Library computers in 2010||Library computers in 2018||Library computers cut since 2010||% of population with zero digital skills in 2018|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||3820||3291||529||6|