Phasing out of cheques reconsidered by MPs

Posted on April 16th, 2011 | Categories - News

The abolition of cheques will be re-examined by experts before proposals are set in motion.

MPs will meet again to discuss phasing out cheques and introducing a viable alternative.

Proposals to scrap cheques may be revised by a selection of MPs due to a rising disquiet amongst affected groups.

The Treasury Committee will reopen its enquiry to address the concerns raised from pensioners and charities who still use cheques regularly – these parties have flooded the committee with letters voicing their opposition to the move.

The UK Payments Council had previously announced that cheques may be phased out and completely abolished by 2018. However, it added that this will only become a real possibility when another alternative becomes available.

Treasury Committee Chairman Andrew Tyrie explained that people who rely on cheques have disagreed with these proposals in number. He said: “The Payments Council had seemingly forgotten about the millions of people who remain less at ease with the latest technology”.

He added: “We have been inundated by letters from the public telling us that they rely on cheques. Many charities, small business and vulnerable people – including pensioners – depend on cheques. Their needs must be considered”.

An original enquiry took place in February 2010 but the Committee was unconvinced by the cost benefits outlined by the UK Payment Council.

Mr Tyrie said: “I was shocked, when the Payments Council last gave evidence, that they had not conducted a rigorous cost benefit analysis. We asked them to go away and do some number crunching. In this new inquiry we can now examine their latest conclusions and work”.