Acceptance of cash to be debated by MPs
10 March 2023
On Monday 20 March, MPs will debate a petition relating to the acceptance of cash.
- Watch the debate (from 4.30pm, Monday 20 March)
- Read the debate transcript (available shortly after the conclusion of the debate).
- Follow the Committee on Twitter and join the discussion using #AcceptanceOfCash #PetitionsDebate
Martyn Day MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked by the Committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and the Government will send a minister to respond.
Make it unlawful for shops to refuse cash payments
The petition, which has more than 33,000 signatures, states: “Make it illegal for retailers and services to decline cash payments.
Businesses small and large across the UK have discriminated on people that is cash to pay for goods. Not everyone wants a digital trail and others simply cannot pay by card.”
In response to the petition, provided on 25 April 2022, the Government said: “The government does not plan to mandate cash acceptance. Businesses are able to choose the forms of payment they accept.”
Require all businesses and public services to accept cash payments
The petition, which has more than 24,000 signatures, states: “All businesses (excepting internet-based ones) and public services in which monetary transactions take place should be required by law to accept cash as a method of payment.
As many businesses and taxpayer-funded public services are increasingly insisting upon cashless payments, it is important that we safeguard against the potential dangers of this practice. It creates an enforced dependency on banks, even though they cannot always be trusted to act ethically, and is a threat to privacy as people cannot make anonymous payments. If we wish to uphold freedom of choice and the right to privacy, it is imperative that we protect the use of cash.”
In response to the petition, provided on 22 September 2022, the Government said: “The Government does not plan to mandate cash acceptance. It is right that organisations choose the forms of payment they accept.”
What are petition debates?
Petition debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.
Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means MPs will not vote on the acceptance of cash at the end of the debate.
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