Martha Lane Fox: Government should force people online
The Government should force people to pay their Council Tax and TV license online, according to web entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox.
Lane Fox, co-founder of lastminute.com, made the suggestion while delivering her first report as the Government’s Champion for Digital Inclusion.
According to the report, researched by PricewaterhouseCoopers, ten million adults in Britain have never used the internet.
Unsurprisingly, 35% of these holdouts are over 65, with a further 38% unemployed and 19% of them families with children.
I think that shutting down services would be the bet way of carrying through the most amount of people
Given how much cheaper it is to pay bills and shop online, the report claims that households without an internet connection are missing out on average savings of £560 per year.
Furthermore, the study finds that net-literate children can increase their lifetime earnings by over £8,000.
While forcing people to pay their bills online may seem draconian, Lane Fox believes it’s the only way to bring these benefits to everybody.
“By switching services, like what we have done with analogue TV, there is a real opportunity to carry people on [to the internet],” says Lane Fox. “I think that shutting down services would be the best way of carrying through the most amount of people, as long as it is carried through with training,” she added.
“What I have learnt is that politicians don’t necessarily agree with me but I will keep badgering them.”
One stat that might help sway them is that by moving just one Government service wholly online, the state could save £900 million.