Families across the UK are likely to miss out on the government new childcare tax break set to be introduced next year because they lack Internet access.
According to UK newspaper The Independent, around one in ten of the two million families, or 200,000 families, eligible for the benefit may miss out because they cannot get online.
“HMRC does not have exact figures but estimates that around 95 of parents that will be eligible for the scheme do not have access to the Internet,” claimed Patel.
“HMRC is committed to helping people use its services online and will make assisted digital option available for those currently not able to access the Internet.
“These will help all parents register for the scheme, reconfirm their details and operate their account digitally,” she added.
The news comes despite the launch of the government Digital Inclusion Strategy in April, which aims to reduce the number of people offline by 25% by 2016.
Although schemes like Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) are making Internet access in the UK more readily available, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee everyone will sign up.
However, Shadow Treasury Minister Catherine McKinnell has claimed that it is “outrageous” that many families look like they may be missing out on the childcare tax break and called upon Ministers to “fix this.”