Internet millionaire Fil Adams Mercer put his support squarely behind the Coalition Government’s plans to get 10 million more Britons to use the internet.
“There were seven million jobs advertised online last year. 900,000 unemployed people do not currently use the internet. It’s a no brainer,” said Mr Adams Mercer, whose online parcel company Parcel2Go has grown to a £16 million business.
Martha Lane Fox, the Government’s ‘digital champion’ and founder of Lastminute.com, intends to have 100% of the British public online by the Olympic year 2012 with her ‘Network Nation’.
The potential savings for Government are obvious if a higher percentage of administrative functions can be performed online.
“We’re not advocating that everyone has a computer at home. There has been so much ICT (information and communication technologies) investment into communities – into schools, into GP surgeries, into libraries. For example, there are 500,000 computers locked up in schools every night. That’s just dumb, especially now, when we need to be sweating our assets as much as we can,” she said.
The Prime Minister said: “We need to ensure that people aren’t being left behind as more and more services and business move online. Promoting digital inclusion is essential for a dynamic modern economy and can help to make government more efficient and effective.”