UK GOVERNMENT MUST ACT NOW TO PROTECT FREE ACCESS TO AND USE OF CASH
Once again I led for the SNP, calling on the UK Government to enshrine the right to use cash payments in shops and ensure that all businesses and public services are legally obliged to accept cash payments.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the UK’s already fragile cash infrastructure. As a result, those who tend to rely on cash payments, such as older people, those on a budget, or rural dwellers, who may need to use cash due to digital challenges, face financial exclusion.
At the same time, access to cash is declining, as Scotland suffers the highest percentage loss of bank branches among all nations in the UK. In particular, my constituency of North Ayrshire and Arran has been hit by extremely worrying trends in recent years as banks abandon our towns at alarming rate and the Post Office network increasingly threatened. I specifically raised the concerns of Kilwinning – a town of over 16,000 people where there is now no longer a bank or a post office in the town centre.
The UK Government has a moral duty to protect consumers choice as well as those who have no choice but to rely on cash transactions whilst also protection our access to cash. This two-pronged legislation is becoming increasingly necessary, as our cash infrastructure continues to be eroded 👇