Lord Hodgson: Poor Will Suffer Most if Cash is Abolished

CMS Chairman, Lord Hodgson features in the Financial Times expressing his views on the importance of sticking with cash.

“Sir, Of course, Gillian Tett is right that a reduction in cash usage could help to reduce tax evasion and make the financing of terrorism more difficult (“The benefits of scrapping cash,” February 5). But against these lofty objectives must be set the real hardship that such a development could pose for the poorest in our society.

For example, their personal cash flows are too tight to allow them to sign direct debit and they are increasingly being charged a premium for their paper bills for telephone, utility and other charges. Banking facilities remain difficult for them to access, so actual cash remains a vital way to smooth out fluctuations in their spending patterns. As the government continues to promote the advantage of a cashless society, it is important that we think widely about such unintended consequences.”

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts

House of Lords, UK

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