Digital-only agenda of firms like Milk & More attacks human rights of oldest & disabled

NPC urges Digital & Culture Secretary to intervene

Digital-only agenda of firms like Milk & More attacks human rights of oldest & disabled

The digital-only drive by many organisations infringes the human rights of many older and disabled people who are increasingly being excluded from essential services.

The National Pensioners Conventions (NPC) is concerned that a growing number of UK companies - like home delivery conglomerate Milk & More who recently featured on BBC Radio 4 ‘You & Yours’* - are moving to online-only and ditching customers who cannot or do not want to use the internet.

The NPC believes this movement seriously disadvantages our oldest and most vulnerable and requires urgent government action. Following contact from distressed NPC members, we are compiling a dossier of evidence which we intend sending to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP, as well as deputy and shadow ministers. We will also be sending copies to the watchdog body, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC, the UK’s largest campaign group for older people, said: “Access to information is a human right and those without technology are being excluded by the drive to digitalise everything from essential health services to ticket purchases and everyday milk and goods deliveries. Our research shows that our members are suffering exclusion in many areas through the drive to digital-only services. While this may be worthwhile for businesses, and indeed the government, customer choice does not seem to feature in their decisions.

“We realise that digitalisation is inevitable, but the process by which it takes place can and should be approached differently.”

The NPC has already written to Milk and More who gave their customers* a month to move their accounts online by last Saturday, 24th April, before they closed their accounts.