Gordon MP Richard Thomson has said people should continue to have the choice to use cash as a means of payment.
The MP is backing constituents who wish to continue to have the freedom to choose their own methods of payment in light of the UK Government’s commitment to the development of a ‘digital currency’.
Figures released by trade body UK Finance also showed that cash payments in the UK increased last year for the first time in a decade. Among 16 to 24 year-olds, traditionally viewed as digitally savvy, more than 15 per cent of payments last year were made with cash.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“There’s no doubt that even before the pandemic, more and more people were making use of payment options other than cash. Of itself, that is not a problem so long as the big banks and other institutions recognise that, for some people, electronic payments are not an option and they rely on being able to both access cash and make purchases in cash.
“Some of the communities hit hardest by the pandemic - high streets and rural areas - face growing challenges to access cash. Towns have also been hit extremely hard in recent years with bank closures and the loss of free-to-use cash machines, and unless legislation is introduced urgently, the ability to access cash and use it as payment could be permanently lost for many consumers, causing significant financial exclusion.
“I am supportive of people’s right to choose to make payment in cash and I have made this clear to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of those of my constituents who have raised this with me.”