To think its completely outrageous for the govt to not include internet access as a necessity on the voucher programme when

(504 Posts)

they are now demanding all benefit applications and correspondence has to be online? I think it is disgusting. Its pushing already marginalised and often vulnerable people beyond the edge. In our Borough over 20% of folk do not have internet access. These people are generally the poor, the foreign, those with MH issues. Is this just another step to ensure the poorest most vulnerable members of society have no voice or access to services?

eastertubby Thu 28-Mar-13 13:48:38

In our Borough over 20% of folk do not have internet access.

Do your local libraries and support centres not provide access? Genuine question, my local library is open 7 days a week (although, there are 4 half-days where they are closed in the morning) and have several computers available to book for up to an hour each, 30 minutes on the couple of non-bookable ones where it's first come first served.

Scholes34 Thu 28-Mar-13 13:50:04

Whilst I agree that too many things can only be accessed on-line and little thought is given to people without access to a computer at home, you can go to a library to access the internet (whilst we still have libraries).

mummabug Thu 28-Mar-13 13:50:42

I agree with you OP it is disgusting. Many people cannot make it to their local libraries wether it be due to mental health or disabilities. Way to make the vulnerable even more isolated.

mummabug Thu 28-Mar-13 13:51:04

*physical disability, rather.

BitsyVonMuffling Thu 28-Mar-13 13:52:03

I thought about library access too OP, but now I remember they are shutting great swathes of those too. It's a difficult one. I think online applications are a good thing, but not at the exclusion of postal claims. EVen my parents struggle with their computer and they're in their early 50s. I think the voucher thing is a redherring though, it's for a one off payment in an emergency. I don't think owing for an internet connection would necessarily be classed as an emergency. But I think the very fact they can deem what is and isn't appropriate to spend that money on is outrageous. Further demonisation of the poor as drinking, smoking, feckless idiots.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 28-Mar-13 13:53:15

There are also security issues with shared use computers.

OP, you are completely correct, but of course the less people who manage to apply for benefits the better....

mummabug Thu 28-Mar-13 13:53:20

Where I am, you have to get on a bus which takes 40 minutes to get you into the centre of town, then it's a 10 minute walk to the nearest library. What planet are people living on, that's a marathon and impossible for many.

dashoflime Thu 28-Mar-13 13:54:12

Thats true, but libraries can be busy and time limited. Also, many have had their funding cut. Its out of order to place extra demands on infrastructure while also cutting it. YANBU

fuzzpig Thu 28-Mar-13 13:54:53

It does seem very contradictory sad

We offer Internet access at the library, but when you consider it's £2.50 for an hour's access, or you can pay £25 for a year. If you don't live near the town centre it's £2.10 each way for bus fare.

People on JSA get 3 months free Internet at our library but not everyone in poverty is on JSA.

junkcollector Thu 28-Mar-13 13:54:56

Yanbu at all. Do you have a link? Let's hope all the libraries don't close....

As an aside, I woke up filled with rage at the government this morning after a conversation with one of the governors at a school near where we live. As there are a lot of children from poorer families at the school The governing body and school management have had to get together a special committee to look at the effects that benefits cuts will have on their children and families. They are also concerned that lots of their children will have to move away to 'cheaper' areas because they can no longer afford to live here (suburb of London, which until recently wasn't exactly posh!).

ArseAche Thu 28-Mar-13 13:55:22

ItsAllGoing -I expect there is someting like that behind this. And if one does apply online, then it will be presumed they have enough money to live on because they can afford internet!

fuzzpig Thu 28-Mar-13 13:55:42

Sorry for dodgy grammar above. Hope it made sense.

Libraries are closing, resources are stretched. And, this information is very confidential so people probably should not be accessing it on a public computer.

YANBU OP.

Geeklover Thu 28-Mar-13 13:56:36

Is it ludicrous or is it ludicrous they are removing the option of postal claims?
I live in an area that this could affect a lot of people. You can use computers at the library but mine isn't open every day. Or you can use the computers at the jobcentre for this purpose. The nearest one to me is 4 miles away only accessible by a rural and already massively cut bus route.

fuzzpig Thu 28-Mar-13 13:57:06

Oh and of course even if you have the money to get to and use library Internet facilities... you can't if you are severely disabled and housebound.

fuzzpig Thu 28-Mar-13 13:59:19

X post sorry

Its hard enough to engage with benefit services. and the get any kind of continuity on an issue. Many people simply don't know about libraries having computers, and at my local ones, they charge. I would think if you were so on your uppers you needed a social loan delivered by vouchers you probably desperately need to engage with benefit providers. And what about kids? So much homework is dependendent on having a PC and a printer. Its not always possible to get onto to school ones, (big queues, wonder why that is?) we driving even more of a wedge. children should not be penalised for their parents unfortunate circumstances. but of course they are.

junkcollector Thu 28-Mar-13 14:03:07
TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Thu 28-Mar-13 14:18:21

I don't think it is outrageous - unless it is for the disabled or those with MH issues. If you happen to need to take a 40min bus journey to get to your nearest library, how is that my problem? At what point will those who are able-bodied with no MH issues take responsibility for themselves? If you live that far out then move! So tired of people thinking the Govt. has a bottomless pit of money to use.

Two bras. Loving the empathy there. not saying the govt has a bottomless pit I am saying that they should not wilfully disenfranchise the most vulnerable people from engaging with their services. Let alone the disgusting fact that sanitary protection is not included either. How to make yourself feel great when life is a bit shit....fashion a sanitary pad out of value toilet paper.

SunflowersSmile Thu 28-Mar-13 14:23:16

Libraries near us are bit of a trek and also very odd opening hours. Not full time at all. Also computers limited and in high demand because of ever declining library hours.

It costs money to move. It costs money to take the bus. It costs money to use the internet at most locations.

It is my problem because I live in a society.

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Thu 28-Mar-13 14:27:40

I said unless it is for the disabled or those with MH issues Did you miss that? I understand if you did.
There is also internet cafes/shopping centres etc.

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Thu 28-Mar-13 14:28:51

Oh come on Terry lots of places are free! McDonalds is free for WiFi!

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