The government said yesterday that it would scrap plans to abolish cheques after strong opposition from a variety of groups representing tradespeople, the elderly and disabled, and charities.
From the FT:
A controversial plan to abolish cheques has been scrapped, after banks were warned in parliament that they had “scared the pants off middle England”.
Worried members of the public sent more than one thousand letters and emails to MPs after it was announced that the 350-year-old payment system was to be phased out by late 2018.
The U-turn came after the government indicated it would intervene unless a suitable alternative was found.
The UK Payments Council, an industry dominated financial body, said on Tuesday that cheques would now continue to be available “for as long as customers need them.”
Commenting, MP for Cheadle Mark Hunter who originally launched the ‘Save the Cheque’ campaign through an Early Day Motion in Parliament in November 2009 said:
This is a great victory for people power and common sense, and proves the banks cannot afford to ignore the views of their customers.
After years campaigning alongside small businesses, charities and voluntary groups, who will welcome this with open arms, I am absolutely delighted by this news.
Commenting further, Co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee on Business Innovations and Skills, Lorely Burt said:
I’ve spoken to hundreds of small businesses who were concerned that the removal of cheques would drive up their costs and end up putting them out of business.
Today’s announcement means that those small businesses and tradesmen who rely on cheque payments can now be sure of their future.
Councillor Iain Roberts has more on his local MP’s victory while Peter Black AM is concerned that the allied decision not to allow debit cards to be used to guarantee cheques could mean that cheques may yet wither on the vine.