To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate the Government has made of the number of businesses refusing cash payments during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps the Government is taking to help ensure people can continue to pay in cash for essential goods and services.
One of the impacts of the Covid-19 virus has been a decline in cash withdrawals and usage. Current BEIS guidance to retailers for working safely during COVID-19 advises minimising contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. The Government and regulators are closely engaged with industry on an ongoing basis to monitor risks to the cash system.
The Government recognises that many businesses and individuals rely on cash in their daily lives. At the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash. The Government is engaging with regulators and industry while designing legislation, ensuring that the approach reflects the needs of cash users across the economy.