Financial Exclusion: Access to Cash — [Sir Henry Bellingham in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:07 am on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden 10:07 am, 21st May 2019

That is good. I hope that the Minister will tell us what work he can do across government to champion financial education, which we all agree needs to be improved significantly.

The Minister wrote to me on 20 February about things that the Government were doing to promote affordable lending and credit unions, and about the affordable credit challenge fund, a no-interest loan scheme. Those are all very good things, but I simply say to him: we want more. There is a need for legislative change to allow all types of credit to be provided by credit unions. If he pushed that through Government, he would be a hero not only on the Government’s side of the House but on the Opposition’s side as well.

The last thing I will say about the cashless society is this: I was on a trip to China a year or so ago and I was in a city called Wuhan, a long way away from Beijing, and I could not use cash. Things are moving very fast. I could not use cash. We need to enable people to adapt to the new society and not try to hold back the tide. The Government need to help people achieve that.