Written by on 9th August 2022

New research published by the Post Office shows that people are increasingly using cash in order to manage their finances due to the cost-of-living crisis.

According to the research, a record £801m of cash withdrawals were handled by the Post Office in July 2022 – an 8 percent increase on June. The Post Office attribute this to people turning to cash to strictly manage their budgets as the cost of living continues to spiral.

But as Pontypridd MP Alex Davies-Jones set out in a debate in Parliament last year, access to cash is an increasingly challenging issue itself. Access to free-to-use ATMs has declined across the country as high street banks close their doors: data from ATM operator Link shows that 13,679 ATMs closed between July 2018 and May 2022, a drop of 21 percent.

Responding to the new Post Office research, Alex Davies-Jones MP said:

“This research lays bare the shocking impact of the Tory cost of living crisis. As prices soar, people are understandably becoming more dependent on cash to manage their finances.

“But access to cash is not equal across Britain. In Pontypridd and Taff Ely, we’ve been hit by high street bank closures – three since I was elected in 2019. High street banks are crucial for ensuring equal access to free-to-use ATMs, especially in a constituency like mine where ATMs are not always in easy walking distance for everyone.

“There are similar stories of access to cash becoming restricted up and down the country. The elderly and vulnerable are most likely to be affected by this worrying trend, but as the cost-of-living crisis worsens anybody struggling to pay their bills and without easy access to a free-to-use ATM will be impacted.

“People who are already facing incredibly difficult financial situations face being left behind as cash machines vanish. The UK Tory Government must act to ensure people who depend on cash as a budgeting tool can access ATMs.”

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