Martha Lane Fox's maiden House of Lords speech. The Queen's Speech debate on 13 May 2013.
70 per cent of companies don't use online tools effectively and are missing out on a staggering £18 billion, according to the UK's digital champion.
In her maiden speech before the House of Lords, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho said that giving companies more advanced skills to buy and sell online would help Britain's already strong online economy stay competitive amid growing threats from the USA and China.
Following in the footsteps of her great aunt Felicity who entered the House of Lords in 1981, Lane-Fox also argued that the most disadvantaged in society should be given the continued help they required to benefit from the Internet revolution.
Speaking on the subject of Internet accessibility, the LastMinute.Com co-founder told the Lords that "everyone had a basic right to Internet access and use as well as to learn the basic digital skills needed to use it."
"16 million people in the UK don't have these skills and 7 million had never been online," Lane-Fox said.
The Internet accounts for 8% GDP in the UK, the highest among the G20 countries. Forecasts predict that the sector will grow by 25% in the future. And despite some areas of the UK still struggling to receive broadband speeds above one Mb/s, broadband access is still competitively priced with the UK having the highest number of online shoppers in the world.
Basic income families could save themselves £170 per year with online deals if they too were able to take advantage of the benefits the Internet can bring. Online, job seekers also have a 40% better chance of finding work.
E RADAR's Will Roebuck said
"A good speech and she nicely avoided Europe, a source of anger, anxiety and frustration for many online companies. The Single Market's in a mess, 60 per cent of e-commerce cross border transactions are failing for one reason or another. Yet all we seem to get is more burdensome EU regulation that impacts upon the SME."
"We've got to make that tough decision as to whether we're in or out of Europe. That will depend upon how we can renegotiate the deal," Roebuck said.
Baroness Lane-Fox, Maiden Speech