Delight as cheques set to stay for longer

Chequessmall 270611

A LOCAL MP has expressed his delight after it was revealed cheques are set stay for the foreseeable future.

Many residents and groups, particularly elderly people and charities, got in touch with Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, to express their concerns about the proposed abolition of the vital payment method.

The Payments Council had said they planned to phase out cheques by 2018.

But Mr Menzies, who has taken up the cause on behalf of a number of elderly people, has now received a letter, from Mark Hoban MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, which indicates that cheques could be in existence for a lot longer.

In the letter to MP’s, Mr Hoban said: “The announcement by the Payments Council of a 2018 target date for phasing out cheques was, regrettably, made without an assessment of the costs and benefits, or a plan or timetable for managing the process, or an indication of what alternative payment instruments might need to be created.

“I am very clear that any alternative system will need to replicate the flexibility and ease of use of cheques, while improving processing times, and be cost effective.

“It will need to have been tested in practice, and be widely available, widely acceptable and widely adopted by users who do not currently have a suitable alternative.

“Until this is demonstrated, I do not believe that there is a credible and coherent case for abolishing cheques.”

Mr Menzies said he was delighted by the announcement.

“I know a lot of elderly people in Fylde will be breathing a sigh of relief,” he said.

“Charities, small clubs and groups also use cheques a lot and, with no alternative available at present, will also be relieved.

“This really is a victory for them and shows that the Government are continuing to listen and learn.”

A consultation has now been launched and the Payments Council are keen to here the views of as many people as possible.

And Mr Menzies has urged people to take part.

“This is a great opportunity for the people of Fylde to make their views known,” he added.

People can write to: Payments Council 2 Thomas More Square, London, EW1 1YN or email cheques@paymentscouncil.org.uk

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