The end of Cheques? - Treasury Contents

Written evidence submitted by R P Gallagher


  I understand that you are holding an inquiry and taking evidence into the above decision.

  Whilst I do not represent any particular group of people I think that I am speaking for a sizeable minority of people in this country who would like cheques to be retained and not phased out.

  I would lie to put forward the following points.

  1.  Cheques have long been used in this country and are still a very effective means of moving money generally. (Even the banks still use them.)

  2.  The decision to phase cheques out is a selfish one and out of touch with the public.

  Tradesmen use them, small businesses use them and pensioners like to use them too. They are useful for plumbers, dentists etc.

  3.  Usage: it is a small wonder that usage has fallen when the banks (who could well afford to process them, bearing in mind their profits and bonuses) are trying to get them phased out.

  Also large supermarkets and retailers are refusing to accept them (because they cannot be bothered with them).

  In my opinion, as they are a legal form of tender, they should all have to accept them.

  4.  Alternatives:

    Online Banking: Unacceptable to some people eg elderly people. Not all people have computers and the internet and some cannot afford them. Computers cost a lot of money, there is a monthly payment to an internet provider and reception in some areas is poor. Also computer training is required for the user. Fraud is a continuing problem.

    Direct Debit: These can only be set up for regular and known bills, not for occasional, irregular ones.

    Mobile Phones: The nearest paypoint may be a few miles away and entail travel and expense. It is much simpler to write a cheque and put it in the post box which is only yards away from your home.

    Debit Card: This is not suitable to pay tradesmen.

    Cash: This is very useful but there is no proof you have paid anything. But if you ban cheques a lot of older people will resort to cash. Are you seeking a society where the elderly keep a lot of cash in the home?

  5.  If you want to provide alternatives, they must be comparable alternatives and there does not appear to be one. All alternatives involve expense (either in terms of expense for equipment or travel expense to visit an outlet and who wants more delay and expense?)

  I have to say that the Government does not recognise at all some elements in Society and their needs. It is always trying to change things and not for the better either. The use of electronic equipment is not always the best for everyone and susceptible to fraud. Notice how all the information on the TV and the radio states: "It will be on the website... com" but an address is never given now. People do not write letters anymore!! Your own inquiry stated "evidence by E-mail" What if people do not have E-mail? A typical example.

  I also think that Governments may have a sinister motive in promoting the use of electronic payments and of course electronic surveillance.

  I hope that the decision to phase out cheques is reversed.

March 2010

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2010
Prepared 16 April 2010