‘Access to Cash Bill’ a Vital Step to Financial Inclusion – Murphy
Aontú MEP candidate for Ireland South, Patrick Murphy, has welcomed the proposed Access to Cash Bill being brought to Cabinet by Minister for Finance Michael McGrath, which will see cash retain “it’s crucial role in society”.
Speaking today Murphy stated, “We are delighted by the Minister’s decision to bring forward the bill. Aontú have long campaigned against a move toward a cashless society, something we believe would heavily exclude vast numbers of our population. We challenged AIB, the GAA and the NCT on their damaging plans to end cash”.
“Cash is the most inclusive way to pay for goods and services, so ensuring shops and pharmacies must accept it as payment is great news.”
“Cash does not discriminate by age or skill level, whether someone has internet access or not. Cash gives all citizens the ability to participate fully in society.”
“Its also important to remember that 350,000 people do not have bank accounts. Cash is also very democratic. Payments can be made independent of a third party. Cash gives the citizen more autonomy. Domestic abuse survivors often keep emergency cash.
“Phone and internet coverage is extremely sketchy in many parts of the country. Discommoding many people who live in rural areas from these transactions is absolutely wrong. By rural, I am not talking about the wilds of Connemara. I am talking about people living 2 or 3 miles outside main towns around the country who often suffer sketchy mobile phone signals”.
Its really important that all state services maintain cash. The decision of the NCT to end cash transactions was significantly more damaging than even the GAA or the banking decisions as the NCT is a mandatory state service. You cannot drive unless you get an NCT. The penalty for driving without an NCT certificate is a fine of up to €2,000, and/or up to 5 penalty points and/or imprisonment for up to 3 months. This was a disgraceful decision that would have hurt many people. It was also a bit rich coming from the NCT given that they cannot run their government contract service in a timely fashion”.
“This is a very positive step by the government in ensuring all members of our society are financially included, be they young or old, urban or rural,” Mr Murphy concluded.