Santander Closures and Local Communities — [Philip Davies in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 1:30 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip 1:30 pm, 14th February 2019

Absolutely. Such is my friendship with my hon. Friend that we share a psychic bond. He probably knows that I will come on to speak about access to cash.

The Access to Cash Review’s interim report from a couple of months ago makes quite stark reading. Despite more and more services becoming cashless, approximately 8 million people—around 17% of the UK population—say that cash is an economic necessity for them. However, that 17% is not evenly spread. Scotland is much more open to economic damage from the transition to a cashless society than other parts of the UK. The statistics show that cash use in London declined by around 8.5% in the 2017-18 financial year, compared with only 3.3% in Scotland. Scotland is still much more reliant on cash, and it is therefore vital that we are not pushed to become cashless at the same pace as other parts of the UK. Quite frankly, that cannot and should not be forced on people, particularly some of our older, disabled or more vulnerable people.