MSPs to debate web plans for benefits

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A report produced by Angus Citizens Advice Bureau(CAB) is to be the subject of a debate in the Scottish Parliament next week.

The contents of the discussion paper ‘Digitally Enhanced or Digitally Disadvantaged’ is to be highlighted by Angus South MSP Graeme Dey as a Members Business Debate.

Mr Dey said: “I’m grateful for the cross party support my motion on this subject attracted to allow Parliament the opportunity to consider the concerning and worrying issues highlighted by Angus Citizens Advice Bureau.

“The UK Government’s aim of having 80 per cent of all benefit applications completed online by 2017 is completely unworkable and has the potential to lead to some of the most vulnerable Scots missing out of vital benefits they are legitimately entitled to.”

The report, which was launched in the Citizen Advice Bureau’s Arbroath office, warns that if the UK Government fails to take into account the needs of claimants, it runs the risk of excluding them from accessing services due to a lack of availability, not lack of need and intent on the part of claimants.

The 16-page document suggests the UK Government may be taking it for granted that people have the necessary skills, knowledge and availability of online access to successfully claim benefits.