Personal accounts

I never cease to wonder at the uncritical belief this government seems to have in the digital age. Leaving aside the reports of lost or missing data, failed or failing projects and costs out of control, the success or failure of one of this government’s flagship projects, Personal Accounts, will it seems depend on whether the IT will stand the strain: on day one, 5 million people are likely to be enrolled. It may be a little over four years away, but that is a very short time period to ensure that everything will be in place and ready to go (the fiasco with patient records points up the risks). And the real problem is that no one knows at the moment what the detail will be, what will be needed and what the effect will be. This last is critical for another reason. The legislation is currently on its way through Parliament, and the necessary Act will be made before the end of the year. But it is only now that the Government has commissioned a report on how Personal Accounts will affect people. Will they be appropriate for all employees? And if not, how does this square with compulsion?

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