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Getting support to those who need it: How to improve consumer support in essential services

16 October 2020

Getting support to those who need it: How to improve consumer support in essential services [ 4.6 mb]

The COVID-19 crisis has led to an unprecedented fall in household incomes. We need more effective mechanisms to help essential service providers to get support to people who need it, particularly those in vulnerable situations.   

The newly announced smart data working group will be seeking to unlock value across the energy, water, financial services and telecommunications sectors. There is a huge opportunity to improve and modernise how data is shared across essential services sectors in order to deliver better support services to people. 

In this report we set out:

  • How the current approach is designed and why it doesn’t work for people in vulnerable circumstances

  • The principles that would underpin a better approach to delivering support, and the benefits this could bring

  • What needs to happen next to improve the support offer for people

The new process must be built around a recognised, trusted and easy to use consent process, in order to improve people’s confidence in accessing digital services and sharing sensitive personal information.