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'Save the Cheque' - Williams

December 16, 2009 1:41 PM

Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire and Liberal DemocratShadow Secretary of State for Wales, used the last Prime Minister'sQuestion Session of this decade to call on the UK Government to act nowto save the cheque, following reports that the UK Payments Council maydecide today to phase out the cheque by 2018.

Speaking after the Prime Minister's Question Session, Roger Williams said:

"While there is a growing reliance on debit cards, almost 4 millioncheques are written every day in Britain.

"Although this figure may decline further as a result of increased debitcard use it is expected that 1.6m cheques will still be written on adaily basis in 2018.

"The effect of scrapping cheques would be devastating for older peopleand small businesses that lack internet access.

"Older people may well resort to storing their money at home in order tohave easy access to it and this could result in them being at risk oftheft or financial fraud.

"Many small businesses rely on this form of payment to cover businesscosts and the impact for them could be just as severe.

"I asked the Leader of the House today what steps the Government wouldtake to save the cheque.

"Whilst the response I received from the Leader of the House wasencouraging and I hope that there will be more than just warm words fromthe Government and that those most at risk from these changes will beprotected if any change is implemented in terms of the future ofcheques.

NOTES:

Roger Williams question was answered by Harriet Harman as the PrimeMinister was in Copenhagen for the Climate Change Summit