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Free PCs for the poor on sale in black market

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In October last year, the government delivered a massive boost to the UK PC recycling industry when it revealed its intention to donate 35,000 PCs to the poor in a £10m scheme.

How long before these PCs were nicked, we asked at the time (Story: Poorest Brits to be given PCs)?

Not so very long, laptops doled out to the poor in the Kensington area of Liverpool (an inner city area chosen to run the pilot) are resurfacing on the black market, an FT report "reveals".

Apparently, the laptops are being offered for £100 each, a bargain, we think. And it's very nice to see that the resourceful citizens of Liverpool are doing their bit to breach the real divide, as opposed to the illusory digital divide.

In any hierarchy of needs, computers come pretty low down the list - even in the first world (and yes we do include Liverpool in this category). Poor people need warmth, shelter, food - clothes for their children, and free subscriptions to Sky TV. etc. etc.

If the government wants to remove the Digital Divide, then subsidised connections to digital TV is the way forward. And even that's a daft waste of money. ®

Related stories

Have Net and have not divide grows
Essex girls to get free WebTV
Poorest Brits to be given PCs
Truants rewarded with £1K laptops

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