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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of David Mundell David Mundell Conservative, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale 4:30 pm, 16th March 2020

I am pleased to see the Minister nodding; I hope that he will nod when I say that those steps should include reversing the arbitrary cuts to the LINK interchange rates paid by banks to fund the network; exempting free-to-use ATMs from business rates; and recognising that ATMs are the only infrastructure through which we can guarantee national access to cash. Of course, cashback at convenience stores and other places has a role to play, but it is very important that we have a sustainably funded network of cash machines throughout the whole country, given the many branch closures we have seen in our constituencies—particularly Royal Bank of Scotland branch closures in Scotland.

I agree with Justin Madders. The consequences of these events—such as the foot and mouth crisis that afflicted much of the south of Scotland 20 years ago—go on for years. They do not just end when someone declares that the crisis is over. They go on for a long, long time for the businesses, individuals and communities that have been affected. We do not just pledge support to those individuals and communities today; we pledge it to see them all the way through the consequences. I think that that will mean revisiting some of what was announced in the Budget and some of what was announced by the Scottish Government, and if that is necessary, so be it.