To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish a timetable for bringing forward legislative proposals to protect people's access to cash.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information the Government holds on the number of retailers no longer accepting cash due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people can continue to use cash to pay for goods and services for as long as is needed.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether cash is a safe payment method to use and should continue to be accepted by retailers during the covid-19 outbreak.
The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation. To inform the development of this legislation, today (15 October) the Government published a Call for Evidence seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system.
The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely during COVID-19, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. However, it remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.