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Written by on 20th October 2021

Alex Davies-Jones MP, the Welsh Labour Member of Parliament for Pontypridd, is holding a debate in UK Parliament where she will be pushing the Government to commit to better protections for semi-rural societies to access cash.

Research from LINK, the not-for-profit organisation which runs the UK’s largest cash machine network, shows that usage of cash machines in Pontypridd is down around 25% since the start of the pandemic.

The national average is around 40% – so there is some evidence that residents in the Pontypridd constituency are more reliant than most on cash usage.

In the Queen’s Speech earlier this year, the UK Government promised to legislate to protect access to cash, but has not set out plans to protect ATMs, which form the backbone of the UK’s cash infrastructure.

In the debate, Alex will be raising the impact that a cashless society can have on elderly, more vulnerable populations.

Alex Davies-Jones MP said:

“In today’s modern world where technology such as Apple Pay had advanced so much to the point where we can pay with our phones, I know many people think of physical cash as a thing of the past.

But we must remember that not everyone is able to rely on cashless transactions and access to cash is absolutely fundamental for so many people across Pontypridd and RCT.

A recent report by the Treasury Select Committee in Parliament found that there are still around 1 million people in the UK without a bank account and some older, lower-income households that rely on cash to budget or because of a lack of access to online banking.

It is absolutely vital that these people do not get left behind should we transition to a cashless society at some point in the near future.

The UK Government has a responsibility to support people, particularly those living in semi-rural communities like ours.

We’ve already seen too many banks leave our high streets, and while little can replace the services available at bank branches, ATMs are central to ensuring that people have access to cash no matter their circumstances.

The UK Government have repeatedly promised that they will bring in legislation to do just that, but months down the line and we are still waiting.

I sincerely hope that the Minister takes on board the concerns I will raise on behalf of residents in Pontypridd and Taff Ely today.”

Last week, the Member of Senedd for the Pontypridd area, Mick Anotniw  visited the site of a new ATM based at the Efail Isaf Post Office.