/ Money

Protect access to cash: email your MP

Today we’re launching a new tool enabling people to send an email to their MP, asking them to push the government to support people who need access to cash.

24/03/22: Email your MP

After more than 6,000 letters were sent to more than 800 local and regional papers by our campaign supporters last month, today we’re launching a new tool that enables people to email their MP.

The government committed to legislate to protect access to cash two years ago, but it still hasn’t been introduced. This is despite the pandemic putting significant pressure on the cash network, ongoing cuts to the bank branch and ATM network, and the release of a Call for Evidence and Consultation on legislative proposals last year. 

If urgent action isn’t taken to protect access to cash for consumers, millions of people who depend on cash will be at risk of financial exclusion with no way to pay for the goods and services they need in their daily lives.

Please email your MP and ask them to raise the issue in Parliament, to get answers from HM Treasury around when legislation will be introduced. 

Use our tool to email your MP here

16/03/22: Update: 6,461 letters sent

Thank you to everyone who took part in this initiative last month. Thanks to you, 6,461 letters were sent to newspapers, up and down the country, from people frustrated by the increasing number of ATM and bank branch closures – impacting both them and their community.

16/02/22: Write to local papers

Today we’re asking people to write to their regional papers to highlight the impact of lost access to cash in their community, raise awareness about the issue and encourage the government to take action.

(this supporter action initiative has now closed – thank you to everyone who took part)

Lost access to cash not only impacts individuals, but the communities they’re a part of. Local businesses often form the heart of local communities, but many have suffered enormously as a result of the pandemic, with successive lockdowns forcing them to shut their doors for months at a time.

Cash refusal

We’ve found an increase in cash refusal since the start of the pandemic, with acceptance rates still not back to what they were despite restrictions being lifted. And not only has cash been getting more difficult to spend, the pandemic has deepened problems with accessing it too, with ATM and bank branch closures affecting local communities across the country. 

There’s no denying that digital payments are a good thing, providing real benefits to many consumers. Despite this, the UK is just not ready to go completely cashless. There are millions of people who are reliant on cash who aren’t yet ready or able to move to digital payments, and they will continue to need to withdraw and spend it. This includes some of society’s most vulnerable.

These concerns have been voiced by small businesses, two thirds of whom have identified cash as a factor that they think will be important to their recovery. 

But action needs to be taken to protect these customers. If the current trend of ATM and bank branch closures continue, more consumers will be left without access to a key payment method, with a potentially devastating knock-on effect on local businesses and the communities they are part of.

Write to your local paper

That’s why today, we’re launching our new tool, which enables people to write to their local and regional newspapers and spread the word amongst other local residents. Let’s get this issue on the agenda of local political representatives.

Make sure your messages using the tool are assertive but polite. Keep them brief (around 150-200 words is ideal) – we’ve listed a full set of tips on how to go about it on the page.

Will you help us raise awareness? Let us know your experiences of cash refusal, bank branch and ATM closures in the comments.

Comments

I feel very differently to your view on this John Ward.

If the local barber accepting cash payments only lives in £500,000 home, drives a £60,000 car, takes four overseas holidays a year and has children in private education, I would certainly be concerned about what they are declaring to HMRC.

Failing to declare their correct income would allow them to remain below the threshold for compulsory VAT registration and is fraudulent.

Given many of the conversations relate to rogue companies or fraudulent conduct, I would like to think we would all be concerned about any trader failing to declare their income.

I stopped using cash two years ago, although I still have to handle cash donations for two charities. I still carry notes as a backup and have some coins to pay for parking. The last time I had to use cash was months ago when I had my hair cut and the card machine was not working.

Where possible I will pay tradespeople by online transactions or with a cheque payable to their business and would encourage others to do the same. I do not want to support tax avoidance.

That’s a relevant point Wavechange, especially in the case of tradespeople. Paying by Bank transfer or cheque serves as further protection for consumers, especially in circumstances where a dispute might occur, as it provides recorded evidence the tradesperson was paid and the amount they were paid.

I also make sure that I get a dated receipt for my payment even if I have to ask.

The sort of small traders we have used for various jobs and services are certainly not in the league you have described, Wingman, and there is nothing to suggest that they are not declaring their full incomes to the HMRC.

I think you will find looking outside the metropolitan bubble in this country that people are overwhelmingly honest and upright citizens. We usually pay in the way that they request and that is normally by bank transfer.

I am not sure that there is any other acceptable mechanism for paying the local barber than cash in hand. At £11 a time [excl tips] for 30 minutes attention the boys in my local barber shop are not taking much home each week after paying their chair rents.

The two shops I now use to cut my hair are happy to take card payment. Even the tiny ice-cream pod that comes to our charity events has a card reader. I would use one myself to accept donations for another charity but they rely on having a reasonable mobile signal, which we don’t have where we operate.

I agree that some people are not well paid but I would rather that this was properly addressed rather than by avoidance of tax.

It seems a rather sad comment on society to assume that people payed in cash are likely to avoid tax. I have a more optimistic opinion of my fellow beings.

Those who use credit cards to pay are also contributing to the transaction fee that the card provider imposes on the business, so we all end up paying more for what we buy. I wonder how much goes into their coffers compared to the tax that might be lost when cash is used. And, of course, the personal data gathered when electronic transactions are made goes to many people with much less “right” than HMRC; many do not like this intrusion on their privacy. I, for one, believe we have a continuing right to keep our affairs confidential, for no ulterior motive other than a principle.

Many here support the continuing wide availability of cash, myself included. Just what do they expect that cash to be used for, if not that some will be used to pay people one way or another?

Avoidance of tax is widely practised, by businesses and individuals. For example in ISAs. It is perfectly legal. It is tax evasion that is an offence,

I completely understand your point malcolm r, but unfortunately it’s not an assumption that some of those paid in cash avoid tax, its a reality.

HMRC indicate the loss of tax revenues through cash-in-hand payments is up to £8 billion.

Like you I also support the use of cash, but it does need to be recognised that it can facilitate tax avoidance.

If the tax loss is as much as £8 bn that is an indictment on the HMRC, but in reality no tax regime can possibly catch every penny and that is factored into all economic calculations. As I have suggested elsewhere, if that withheld tax is converted into consumption then it will generate other revenues that cannot be evaded.

I would rather see the authorities persecute fraudsters than the minor defalcations of local tradespeople who provide so much support to people in our communities.

Amazon’s accounts are described as “opaque” and it is alleged that they should pay a good deal more tax in the UK than is the case. But it is conceded that what they do is not illegal. Perhaps we should concentrate on revising our tax laws so that large enterprises pay what is seen as a fair amount of tax.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58485816

wingman, of course some who are paid in cash evade tax; I accept that. I was merely commenting on the seeming generalisation that people paid in cash are generally dishonest. It is sad when we make that assumption. And, in my view, certainly no reason why we should not use cash in whatever way we choose. Those who use electronic payments to try to ensure others pay tax are perfectly free to do so with that motive in mind. Transaction fees cost all of us, of course.

There was certainly no intention or that it should be interpreted that those paid in cash are generally dishonest. This was simply a case of introducing the matter into the conversation to gauge the opinion of others.

I have an open mind to most things and being a relative newby on these Which? conversations I have found it fascinating to hear the widespread opinions and views of others. I often read posts with views and opinions that I have never even considered, with some prompting me to rethink my position on such matters.

A robust exchange of opinions is healthy.

I was not questioning your intention, Wingman. It derived from another comment.

I agree that a Convo should be a forum where differing opinions, information, expertise so we can openly develop a topic and all, hopefully, become better informed.

It is good to see you here as a new and active regular.

Thanks malcolm r. My primary interest remains on the ‘home appliance warranty scams’ and I am delighted with the recent enforcement action, with the expectation that further enforcement follows. But hopefully I can also continue to contribute relevant views and opinions to other subjects.

I do hope you do, Wingman 🙂

This Convo has rather departed from the right to access cash and to use it, and introduced the issue of tax evasion when cash is used. Perhaps a Convo on how tax could be better levied on major avoiders might be appropriate. The rewards from modifying our tax laws might be very beneficial https://realbusiness.co.uk/six-companies-that-avoid-paying-their-taxes

Yes, we have diverged somewhat from the original topic. I’ll take responsibility for that, my apologies.

I shouldn’t worry about that, Wingman. I don’t think any new insights have been offered on access to cash for a long time. This Conversation was overdue for a new angle.

Thank you John, pleased I was able to contribute in some way.

David Green says:
24 March 2022

I would no longer want O’Brien to do anything Acknowledging any correspondence is too much trouble, getting a reply unheard of. He has on;y been seen once in this part of his constituency since lockdown began – and that was just because TV invited him.
Too busy with Hong Kong and China to bother about local matters. BTW I had been a lifelong Tory until the way they have treated pensioners. Time for him and all other Tories to get theirs!

Lynette says:
28 March 2022

What about grandchildren, godchildren: they like a bit of cash! When I go out to a restaurant I leave the tip in cash – its not supposed to go to the restaurant its for the person who served one. Do you never leave any money in a charity box.
The government is not going to tell me how I use my money.

Crusader says:
28 March 2022

That’s it, Lynette, get them TOLD! So many prime ministers keep going on about our democracy but taking away something like cash is not remotely democratic as it’s a necessity just like food and drink, and clothing and water, and housing etc. it’s a RIGHT! If we let them take away our cash then we’ll have far too many further restrictions and some of us have far too many already and don’t need any more. So it looks like our “democracy” is slowly being eroded just like our eastern coastline. So we must use our democratic rights which countless millions have fought and DIED to protect and get them TOLD we’re keeping our cash, full stop end of story! They only want us to have some fancy electronic currency so they can spy on us more and if we let that happen then our society could become more like the old east germany where just about all the citizens were routinely spied on and had even their most mundane movements like shopping and laundry trips etc. meticulously logged by an army of state jobsworths, it was all revealed when the “iron curtain” finally collapsed and we don’t want it here.

Unless someone produces evidence that the government is planning to take away cash, this is misleading. As far as I am aware there is no move to remove cash as a method of payment; on the contrary the government has committed to retain cash and has consulted on the matter prior, presumably, to formulating the promised legislation. For example, have a look at this https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/access-to-cash-consultation

Crusader, where exactly does this notion that our Government wants to spy on everyone derive from?

Wingman — To some extent, Which? has stoked this up itself, possibly unintentionally, by not reporting fairly the government’s intentions to protect access to cash and the changes that have come about as a result of the cash and basic banking services now provided at post offices.

There are actually more places now where cash can be obtained with a bank card than for a very long time. The cash machines that have been removed were often duplicates or close to others that remain active.

Some shops have used the coronavirus epidemic as an opportunity to decide not to accept cash payments but I expect they will regret that in the coming recession and take any kind of money if they want to stay in business.

Thanks for the explanation John Ward.

I agree with your point regarding retailers who used the pandemic as an opportunity to decline cash transactions and as you indicated they may either regret this or reverse their policy. During difficult times it would seem foolish to inhibit potential sales, when really they need to seize every possible opportunity.

Laura says:
15 March 2022

How will the tooth fairy leave money for the kids if we have a cashless society? Having cash is a great way to teach kids to look after their things! If they lose their money, it’s gone. If they have a bank card, you can just cancel the lost one and get a new one, no real lesson learnt! If you give cash to someone for a present, they can spend it anywhere on anything. There are elderly people that don’t want to get into technology or would get confused with it.

Sharee says:
15 March 2022

Small businesses will suffer the consequences dealy if a cashless society is rolled out, also again, more people laid off from jobs as the robot systems take their place. The rich get richer as the poor get poorer. also the digital id system & cashless system would be a huge way to control peoples spending. Look at china.
We are fine without it & the propaganda from a government & prime minister who’s proved he lies about everything

Julie says:
17 March 2022

It’s already happening I go to a Natwest cash machine and it will not read my santander card!

Martin says:
18 March 2022

Search out Cathrine Austin-Fitts. She points out the control grid at the heart of the cashless programme. It’s all about control and micro management of YOUR activity.

If the government, whatever colour, doesn’t approve of your views or politcial activity….they can just shut down your access to money.

Just like the Canadian truckers experienced with crowd funding sites blocking donations to their cause!

The series of Access to Cash convos hosted by Which? is not a place to promote and extend conspiracy theories, so please stop with this nonsense.

Of course, anyone is free to check out Cathrine Austin Fitts, but you would be wasting your time, unless you like wallowing in disinformation on social media. To save you the trouble, this ex-minor US government lacky, now uses her heightened public profile to promote various baseless concepts.

These include, but are not limited to:

– Claims that vaccines are responsible for a number of chronic childhood conditions.

Whether you believe that or not, a balanced argument would be good. What about all the acute fatal and chronic childhood illnesses that vaccines have prevented since the 1950s? You might not notice all the dead kids who didn’t get a vaccine, but you don’t see them them living out their miserable lives in iron lungs or in wheelchairs due to the chronic side-effects of polio any more. There are still pockets of polio infection in the world that could easily be imported just like Covid-19 on modern air transport systems and spread like wildfire amongst populations that start to favour these anti-vax theories.

– Covid vaccines are being used as a vector to inject microchips into the human body as a means of mind control.

I’ve had both AZ and Pfizer, yet the “microchips” in my body don’t seem to stop me thinking for myself and expressing opinions that hopefully run counter to the alledged masterplan of Bill Gates et al to take over the world. If you’ve even owned a Windows computer, you know there is nothing to fear about any mind-altering technologies from the ex-head of Microsoft actually working. Whether they have altered my DNA to make me infertile, I cannot say, but that is possibly a benefit I could live with.

– The massive voter fraud that occurred during the 2020 Presidential Election. I think most people can see through that one without any medical knowledge, although there is a diagnosis for this and all of the above. It’s called “Delusional Disorder”.

None of the above have much to do with Access to Cash, but it is dangerous to adopt the edited beliefs of such spreaders of disinformation as having any factual basis, unless you are prepared to swallow all the other untruths.

Will Goward says:
18 March 2022

The one way we can ensure branches and cash machines remain ,is for the Government to enact legislation that will fine banks who wish to take this action, millions of pounds, to go to the local community it serves.

Cosmo Anayiotos says:
19 March 2022

Has anyone noticed shops don’t offer cashback anymore ?

Cosmo — I have noticed that at certain supermarkets on the reasonable grounds that they have a cash machine outside. Only a small minority of shops ever did offer cashback. The new cash-without-purchase scheme might see more small shops offering a facility at the till in the expectation of higher turnover with customers ending up buying something.

Or inside. Quite a few of the in-store ATMs found in smaller shops are replenished with cash from the tills. It is safer and more convenient for the stores. It also helps to stop the small amount of embezzlement that took place when your mate was operating the till and you “accidentally” were given too much cash back to be shared out later.

With fewer people using cash there will be less need for cashback. I recall Sainsbury announcing that it would stop offering cashback at some of its stores. That was a few years ago.

Which? reported that many don’t know about cashback without purchase: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2022/01/just-one-in-six-shoppers-know-about-the-cashback-without-purchase/

That was a poor report, as I commented https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/cashback-without-purchase-schemes-access-cash/#comment-1644146
Unsurprising that many did not know about a scheme that had just completed trials in a very few outlets and was only just being rolled out to more participants.

There is just as much need across the nation for access to cash as ever there was; nothing says that the distribution of those needing cash has significantly changed. Fewer people may need it as regularly, and those who do may be withdrawing less, but the universal need remains.

Fortunately there are now as many access points as there have ever been, with cashback without purchase adding to them, and hopefully will give convenient access to far more than have ever had it in the past. I hope it proves successful.

There are no Cashback without Purchase (referred to as Cash at the till or CT on the LINK map) sites anywhere near where I live, but if I wanted cash there are free ATMs. It looks as if the same applies to you, Malcolm. Looking around the highlands of Scotland which has areas without an ATM or Post Office, the new scheme seems to offer little help. Common sense suggests that CT sites would help these areas but they seem to rely on existing Paypoint sites. Better support of Post Offices by the banks seems more worthwhile.

It is very early days, as I said. It needs to be given the opportunity to succeed. I hope Which? will now support such initiatives.

I see there are around 28 000 Paypoint outlets, but only 2000 so far enrolled in the new scheme. Hopefully more will join and reach far more people. Other outlets not in the Paypoint scheme may also join; I don’t know the requirements.

Alan Robertson says:
19 March 2022

If cash dissappears then whoever controls the banks will control you. If the Prime Minister of Canada could pass a law to close people’s accounts because they disagreed with his policies then any leader could do the same. Cash is vital for freedom.

Cash will not disappear.

Linking the Canadian trucker protests to Access to Cash and suggesting that the Canadian PM can just confiscate assets on a whim is another misuse of this Convo and a complete fabrication of the truth of the situation.

To be clear, at least one source of the trucker’s crowd-funded donations was frozen as a byproduct of a legal injunction brought by Ottawa residents and ruled on by a Judge. They are sick and tired of being harrassed and kept wake at night by the incessant honking of horns. Business owners are having their store fronts vandalized. A lot of the activity being funded is clearly illegal, including a number of firearms offences.

I’m not entirely sure in any democracy when it would ever be OK for some crackpot fringe group who, disagree with the elected government’s public health regulations, to have unfettered access to funds for unlawful campaigning. If it means the rest are at increased risk of infection, we can’t go about our lawful business due to the disruption caused (including to other truckers in the Canadian case) and we also have to pay for extra policing, the vandalizm of public property and the court service to prosecute the guilty, then the supply of money needs to be choked off sooner rather than later.

Deb says:
21 March 2022

It doesn’t matter what you think of the truckers protests. The reality is the government CAN freeze assets/access to currency for political purposes & dress it up anyway they like if this programmable digital currency happens. Its exactly whats happening in China & the idea is exactly what the UK government are talking about implementing. You have to look beyond what you might agree with because one day you won’t agree with it & it will be your access to your own currency thats restricted, but by that point it will be far too late.

@Deb – Of course a government can do whatever they like. In the current economic system, we have to trust them whether we like it or not. If you do not think this is a problem with cash, then you do not understand the value or nature of money.

Sterling, like the US Dollar is a fiat currency. This means it has no intrinsic value as it is not backed by any commodity such as gold or silver. It only has value because the government declares it to have value. What a lot of people mistakenly refer to as “legal tender”, but most will associate that term with fiat currency held as cash. Otherwise it is just worthless plastic polymer, paper and base metal coinage.

So by all means, keep a stash of cash under the bed and see what happens to it when the government decide to print more of it (inflation) or declare all the old notes of no value (demonetisation).

If you think this could only happen in the German Weimar Republic (who, by the way, did not have computers!) then think again. In 2016, the Indian Government demonetized all 500 and 1000 Rupie notes (roughly the same value as £5 and £10 notes), because too much cash was circulating in the black economy evading taxation.

Don’t even get me started on the worthless nature of non-government backed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies or the dangers of “investing” in that. I know a lot more than you assume.

Mandy says:
20 March 2022

They want to get rid of cash because they can’t track who is making what it’s greed an control an i’m sick of this dictatorship from those self interested demons , the Great reset is not GREAT it STINKS we need our machines not everyone is on line or wants to be , We have right to choose how to live , they go against every law they ever made them selves hypocrites lot of them . Detest them all WW2 never left us they still here .

If the electorate installs a government that would abolish cash and substitute programmable digital currency then it will deserve the consequences. I see no basis for such conspiracy theories.

According to the latest available figures from the banking trade body UK Finance, cash still accounted for 17% of all payments in 2020 [when personal commercial activity was at a low point].

Crusader says:
21 March 2022

Hear, Hear! That’s the spirit, I like a lass with some real fire in the heart. That’s just what I’ve noticed too, the UK government keep bringing out new laws but never enforce them unless they can do so in such a way that’s causes too many of us appalling entrapment, which is just what scrapping cash would do as if we have to have some kind of digital electronic currency then it’s quite possible that it could be controlled so that some of us wouldn’t be able to shop at certain places or buy certain stuff which would be a serious breach of human rights. For instance it could possibly be controlled so that those of us who have to live on disability welfare couldn’t shop at trade counters or timber yards or builder’s or plumber’s merchants etc. and some of us NEED to. I’m confined to disability welfare and I go to various trade suppliers all the time as I have my own home which needs constant maintenance as it’s over a century old. And of course if you try complaining you just get totally ignored and denied democracy, and the media and campaign and “rights” groups never want to know either.

There is no indication that this is a policy. As John points out, cash is still widely used and that looks likely to continue. It is time the press stopped perpetuating unfounded speculation.

Real information is given here, https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/SUMMARY-UK-Payment-Markets-2021-FINAL.pdf
including:
”In 2020 cash payments continued their long-term decline, with
the pandemic resulting in cash use falling by 35% compared to the previous year. Since 2017 cash use had been declining by around
15% each year, so 2020 represented an acceleration of this decline. This is largely attributed to the impact of the pandemic on cash
use with cash payments being affected by a greater degree than many other payments. This was seen in retailers pushing contactless payment options, amid fears about cash being a vector for Covid-19 transmission, while many businesses which have high levels of cash spend were closed. Nevertheless, cash remained the second most frequently used payment method in the UK in 2020, being used for just under a fifth of the total number of payments made.

@Mandy said: “They want to get rid of cash because they can’t track who is making what”.

No need to get rid of cash. Just demonetise it, like the Indian government did in 2016. Where does that leave your hoard of crisp £20 notes? (See comment above about what governments can and cannot do.)

Dave says:
21 March 2022

Not everyone has a smartphone & not everyone is computer savvy. Cash is essential for a lot of older people and for people that can’t get credit. This is really about the middlemen who get 90% of the transactions chasing the last 10%

Gayle says:
21 March 2022

Apart from the fact that it gives governments full control over the public, it also takes away those important little things… the tooth fairy, pocket money for children and grandchildren, birthday money in cards that the kiddies look forward to getting . It’s just wrong to go cashless

We are not going cashless 🙂 We are certainly using it less, but nearly 20% of transaction involve cash.

I suspect that the main driver of the retreat from cash is not the attitude of banks and commerce but, as a result of inflation, the large sums people would have to carry in order to make purchases with cash. By rights, the tooth fairy should be charging at least £20 to keep up with inflation nowadays and all the other little incidentals pro rata.

Ian Lavery MP is a total waste of space as an MP. If something good happens that he had nothing to do with he claims he did it. If he does something bad (often happens) he blames the government. He only scraped a win at the last election and with luck he will be out after the next one. Writing a letter to him is pointless.

Helena Barrow says:
25 March 2022

I’ve received many emails and messages that might have been genuine, aha, including this request to vote! Just had message asking for money from YOU! Anyway, I’ve reverted to asking for requests on headed paper etc which I then “bin”. If I owe money, even to a trusted friend, I now do a Third Degree by phone. By far the safest. OK, I’ve probably lost out on a lot of offers, but I’m about to delete my callers’list too. I was brought up to value money and too many strange people are emailing me.

SARA CHRISTMAS says:
25 March 2022

I feel we should all be able to use cash, debit cards, credit cards to tender as we choose. I meet friends for meals out and we usually pay a mix of cash and cards. I have been to restaurants that have accepted cards only in the last couple of years and I see this as bad service and will not return. Cash is legal tender and as a retail manager I have always had to accept it and don’t mind. No one I know caught Covid due to cash handling! We know enough about Covid and best practice and the most likely routes of transmissions by now.

Covid seems to be used as an excuse to benefit these businesses so that cashing up, banking and reconciling takings is quicker and more convenient for them at the end of the day and its not necessarily good service or convenient for every customer to only accept cards.

After the last couple of years these businesses should appreciate every customer no matter the method of payment or we go elsewhere.

I want the right to pay electronically (e.g. by card) and not to have to pay with cash. It’s 2022, not 1922.

Waheed says:
25 March 2022

@NFH, it’s about choice.

If you study history, you’ll realise why credit cards were invented, basically it’s psychological. When making a payment it doesn’t feel as bad when spending £200 by card compared to carrying and paying £200 in cash. Retailers and banks quickly realised people were spending more than they could afford, this obviously benefited retailers, but banks also benefited, particularly when people couldn’t pay-off their cards by the end of the month. That’s also why systems such as klarna are so successful, people are becoming slaves to the banks, buying things they can’t afford, spending well above their means, and end up paying huge sums in interests and late payment charges.

Cards also allow retailers to increase prices slightly without most people noticing, as people blindly pay with card not realising how much is being spent. Cash isn’t like that, you have to physically count and release the money in hand, it causes an imprint in memory of where your money is going and how much you’re spending, so you’re less likely to do so again and think twice before that psychological punishment of holding and releasing cash in hand.

Loyalty cards are also a scam, they give you a little in return, but take a lot from you in the form of your personal data, how and where you spend money, and what times and with whom. It tells a great deal about your lifestyle, and that data is extremely valuable for insurance firms, retailers, and even repressive governments.

e.g. when Tesco first created clubcard, they realised with massive amounts of data coming in about people’s risky lifestyles, and how to tempt them to spend more, and surprisingly they also found they could usually tell when a woman is pregnant before she realised herself due to differing diets!

Crusader says:
28 March 2022

It’s none of any supermarket’s business if a lass is pregnant, especially before she knows, that’s a seriously personal matter, although of course it soon becomes obvious later on as the baby grows… And if people give into temptation then they only have themselves to blame for getting in a mess, just like gambling addicts, or those who get themselves hooked on drink and/or drugs etc. Folk should have more self discipline and keep well within their means as I always have and not get themselves hooked on such destructive stuff, or into debt etc. as I never have. And we need to have both cash cards as well as cash as sometimes you want to buy something a bit more expensive but still well within your means, but you don’t want to be carrying a large amount of cash on you for reasons of common sense, like when I bought a second hand refurbished gas cooker for just over £200 a few years back. But I don’t want to have to use my card in somewhere like a bakery or a sandwich shop, or even in somewhere like a hardware shop if I’m only buying something small and cheap like new vacuum dust bags, or light bulbs etc. And every retail park should have at least two cash machines, just in case one goes down as they sometimes do. But there’s none at the retail park near me, just as I can’t get any ordinary soap there either, as there’s only daft girly stuff on sale in the personal hygiene areas at the stores there.

Crusader — I am surprised that you cannot find regular or more masculine soap bars at your local retail park. Most decent retail parks seem to have a major supermarket [e.g. Asda, Morrisons, Tesco or Sainsbury’s] and a Boots or Superdrug or similar. Such stores generally have a Men’s Toiletries aisle with a choice of soap products.

I admit that there is not much demand for tablet soap these days as most people use liquid handwash or shower gel, but soap bars are still manufactured. Carbolic soap [e.g. Lifebuoy] still exists but is possibly only sold on-line. It is possibly more suitable for scrubbing the front doorstep than for personal hygiene since it comes with a distinct odour, so a bar of Sunlight soap might be a better alternative for use on the body.

These pungent products seem to mainly emanate from Widnes and that area so you might find some local outlets.

Crusader, I don’t generally use hand wash liquids or shower gel but prefer a bar of soap. I find “Dove” easy to find and, although I haven’t worked out the unit cost per wash, it lasts a long time.

Crusader says:
29 March 2022

Today I saw a bakery shop in a village not that far from me that has a large sign in the front window that states “cash only”, how about that?! And on that retail park where I shop each week there’s aldi, iceland, and home & bargains who should have basics like soap but they only had dove which I see as very feminine and not for me, I prefer pears soap which I now get from the local Asian household goods store which is right across town from the retail park but at least there it’s cheaper, if I go in any of the local “big four” supermarkets I’ll most likely get charged near enough twice as much due to their shelf space rental rates, and lidl which is also well away from the park didn’t have any more ordinary soap either, and neither did b&m’s who are nearby but again only lots of girly hygiene stuff. And I used to like imperial leather too but I’ve not seen that anywhere for years now so I don’t know if it’s still made.

“Feminine” I am not, Crusader. I really don’t see a white, oval tablet of soap as other than gender neutral 🙂

Crusader says: Today 10:39
It’s none of any supermarket’s business if a lass is pregnant,

Wasn’t the point being made that the supermarkets’ AI systems can work out more about you than you might think?

And if people give into temptation then they only have themselves to blame for getting in a mess, just like gambling addicts, or those who get themselves hooked on drink and/or drugs etc. Folk should have more self discipline and keep well within their means

Would that it were that simple. Sadly, not everyone enjoys the same personality and differing types fall prey to different lures. Alcoholism, for example. is know to be associated with obsessive behaviour.

there’s only daft girly stuff on sale in the personal hygiene areas at the stores there.

Er…”girly stuff”?

Crusader says:
28 March 2022

I wonder what their “AI” systems would make of me, seeing as they most likely work a bit like forensic “profiling” where they usually have a set of virtually bog-standard psychological profiles that they try and fit folk into. Well such a system won’t work accurately with me as I don’t fit any such standard profile. So I think it would most likely end up a bit like what happened with my PIP “assessment” where the bloke just sat there and just took a quick look at one point after another and just made a wild and totally wrong assumption in each category which led to a report full of complete and utter nonsense which was nearly all completely WRONG! But of course the relentlessly ignorant dwp just wouldn’t be told, they would only believe the words of someone who knows absolutely nothing about me or anyone like me and wasn’t even properly qualified and who only saw me for just 49 minutes and thought he could judge my whole life from what he saw there, which is absolutely absurd and impossible. I’m such a complex character with so many complex problems that to assess me anything like properly someone would have to live with me everyday for months and see all the appalling things that happen. So I took them to a tribunal and thrashed them and humiliated their representative in front of the judge.

I think it is part of the British character to be unique, an outlier in statistical assessments, beyond profiling, not conducive to compartmentalisation. Complexity should not be regarded as a disability or an anomaly, but unfortunately measuring and judging everything by reference to a template or tick list is the favoured method these days. It’s a crude process that gives crude results. I am glad you were able to obtain some relief from the tribunal.

@ceason, hello Camilla.
The updated introduction 24th March says “The government committed to legislate to protect access to cash two years ago, but it still hasn’t been introduced.
The government launched a consultation on access to cash with submissions required by Oct 2021.
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/access-to-cash-consultation

Are the submissions being analysed as a precursor to introducing legislation on access to cash and is this, perhaps why “it still hasn’t been introduced”?

I expect that working from home and the decimation of the civil service due to Covid-19 has had something to do with the timescale for legislation. It is not especially urgent: the government has given its pledge and normal spending activity has been somewhat subdued during lockdowns and other restrictions over the last two years. Cash spending has actually held up reasonably well over the recent period despite the problems. Inflation is the major impediment to the use of cash now as people need more in their pocket and wallet in order to make small gifts and purchases.

Bikesh chaudhary says:
7 April 2022

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Bikesh chaudhary says:
7 April 2022

My free fire account open with Facebook account that’s else people are change my all thing name,email,number
That’s I can’t open my free free without my face book account please help and recover and my free fire name was cg bikesh and uid 528605699