Last week we asked for your views on whether the government should protect cash in its budget. Here’s what you had to say.
On Wednesday 26 February, we published our CEO’s letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, asking him to save bank branches and ATMs across the country.
You sent a very clear message: the government should protect cash in its next budget.
Do you feel that the Government should make sure cash is protected in the next budget?
Yes (100%, 2,739 Votes)
No (0%, 12 Votes)
Not sure (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,752
You responded in droves. More than 7,000 people tweeted their views using #ProtectCash, including nine MPs.
Access to cash is incredibly important, especially in rural communities like mine. 1 in 5 free cashpoints have closed since January 2018 so I’m backing the @WhichUK campaign to #ProtectCash 🏧💷 pic.twitter.com/O1EX54OLj9— Jamie Stone MP (@Jamie4North) February 26, 2020
Here on Which? Conversation, we welcomed the views from more than 550 people on Wednesday alone.
We printed your comments – just over 1000 pages of A4 and bound together in what we call the Book of Cash – and delivered them in a special suitcase to Downing Street.
Why we should protect cash
We heard many stories of why cash is, for many, essential to daily life:
Many argued that, simply put, cash is a way of life:
Many noted how important it was to have a tangible way to pay:
@hmtreasury, I'm with @whichuk. I want the government to #ProtectCash at the next budget because We all need cash at sometime and lots of people don’t use or know how to use bank accounts or trust banks. Young people like cash to spend and it is nice to give on birthdays etc.— Janet Risbridger (@Birdgirl66) February 26, 2020
Technology was a popular theme, with many noting how the infrastructure simply was not up to standard for a purely digital economy:
…not to mention increasing risk of fraud or scams….
@hmtreasury, I’m with @whichuk. I want the government to #ProtectCash at the next budget as I distrust the total reliance on electronic money because, It can expose your personal information to a possible data breach and leave you without funds.— Deborah HusseyWelsby (@BattyDebs) February 26, 2020
…and making it harder to access for people who might struggle to, or might choose not to, engage with electronic forms of payment.
Closures and thievery
Several of you shared stories of how literally important it was to protect access to cash:
.@hmtreasury, I’m with @whichuk. I want the government to #ProtectCash at the next budget.— Loretta Livingstone (@L_Livingstone1) February 26, 2020
I find online banking difficult, and budgeting is much easier with cash. There must be millions like me. Please don’t get rid of cash.
An inclusive envrionment
Others took a different view in that it’s less about cash, more about the environment in which cash is useful.
Community regular alfa argued that cash’s value is through universal acceptance
Or could it be that this reliance on cash is only because digital payments aren’t yet universal?
How do these land with you? How does your environment and the businesses near you influence how you choose to pay? Let us know in the comments below.
The Chancellor has confirmed that the new Budget will take place on Wednesday, 11 March.
Which? will be reporting on what’s announced in full, including whether or not the government will honour its commitment to protecting cash.
Thank you to everyone who shared their views on the future of cash with us.
We’ll continue talking about having access to cash and having the freedom to pay your way here on Which? Conversation.