Digital by default

From the glynismillward189 blog:

As some of you may know, I have real concerns about the way in which DWP try and shoehorn EVERYONE into using computers in respect of claimant jobsearches, form completion etc. I know that some of you feel the same way.

It seems we may have been right to have those concerns.

Two recent cases in the First Tier (Tax) tribunal which rules against HMRC insisting on traders filing their VAT returns on line, could well have implications for other government departments.

I think it would be a good idea for claimants to be aware of these cases and quote the relevant extracts from them when informing DWP that you cannot use a computer for any reason, such as age, disability, computer literacy and remoteness of location.

It’s helpful to note that in the second case, the judge stated that the failure to take account of a persons ability to use a computer was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR)

I have included some useful extracts (in bold italics – with my interpretation/opinion in italics) from the two cases that a claimant can either include in a letter or indeed quote verbally to DWP.

It should be remembered that first tier tribunal decisions are what is termed “persuasive” It is only upper tier tribunal decisions that are deemed binding on the lower appellate courts.

However, HMRC have not stated that they are going to appeal these decisions, so those decisions stand.


For the author’s observations on these cases, see her blog.

2 thoughts on “Digital by default

  1. Bring back immediately women's state pension at 60 / Loss of state pension for life from 2016

    Access to computers will begin to lessen to the poorest people, as libraries are shut when they are given over to volunteers and the professional staff sacked.

    The volunteers will not take long to realise how onerous a task they have taken on and support will lessen.

    The older worker / claimant may not earn enough to own a computer, nor know how to use it.

    Literacy problems either by lack of education or learning difficulties in individuals, also make the digital age not inclusive.

    All this could end tomorrow with a rejuvenated Labour that revoked the Flat Rate Pension by manifesto pledge for 2015, that leaves huge number of women and a lot of men with no food for life in old age, even for those turning 80 in 2016.

    The Greens offer a manifesto pledge for 2015 of:

    – universal non-means tested Citizen Income, non-withdrawable

    The socialists back in 1997 offered:

    – state pension for men and women at 55 at £320 per week

    – 50 per cent rise for current claimants of state pension and pensioner benefits.

    With these policies, Labour would win a landslide victory in 2015, forming a majority government, bulldozing through any Tory opposition to saving the nation from its over 70 per cent rise in starvation (according to Russian English language news services and our medical professionals in England and Wales).


    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s a more than 70 per cent rise in malnutrition, rather than starvation. People are eating – but they’re eating the wrong things.

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