UK’s cost-of-living crisis deepens digital divides
Starting a new school can be daunting, but for British pupil Archie Ruff there was a silver lining – a free laptop to help him keep up with his work.
The laptop, loaned to him by a school programme that provides computers to children from lower-income households, was a relief for his parents too, as inflation running at more than 10% eats into the family’s spending power.
“In the past couple of years, post-COVID, things just seem to have spiralled in terms of costs,” Archie’s mother, Karen Ruff, who works as a care assistant, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation over a video call from her son’s school in the central English city of Birmingham.
“I look at the figures and every month, trying to move things around to work out what it is that we can miss out on.”
British inflation is running at 10.4%, causing a cost-of-living crisis that rights groups and researchers say is widening digital divides for poorer households who may be forced to cut back on non-essentials such as tech and internet costs.
Archie, 11, has dyslexia and attention deficit disorder which affect his ability to take notes and spell. Having his own laptop has helped him enormously, his father said.
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