Digital poverty grips Northern Ireland, posing threat to essential services access

This poses significant challenges in accessing essential services like debt support and social security benefits, particularly concerning the ‘Move to Universal Credit.’

Flag of Northern Ireland

Amidst the backdrop of Northern Ireland grappling with the highest rate of non-internet users in the UK, one in seven residents finds themselves in the grip of ‘digital poverty.’ The lack of internet access and essential online skills poses significant hurdles to accessing crucial services, including debt support and social security benefits.

As the UK government progresses with the ‘Move to Universal Credit,’ concerns rise that a substantial portion of the population may face exclusion from vital online services. NI urgently calls for government action to address this digital exclusion and emphasizes the need for support measures as the cost of living crisis intensifies.

Why does it matter?

Addressing digital poverty in Northern Ireland is crucial for promoting equal access to essential services, mitigating social inequalities, facilitating a smooth transition to new welfare systems, and ensuring that the most vulnerable individuals receive the support they need, especially in the face of economic challenges.