LETTER: Save the cheque

Millions of cheques are written every year, and this remains a safe, convenient and useful method of payment. Although cheque use has declined over the years, in favour of credit and debit cards, online banking etc, 1.1 billion cheques were written last year and the UK Indpendence Party believes there is absolutely no justification to abolish the cheque book.

The Payments Council, which is behind the plan, is dominated by representatives from the banking industry, and UKIP believes this proposed abolition is purely driven by reasons of cost and inconvenience. In other words, the banks find cheques time-consuming and awkward and want to get rid of them. We have now seen the cheque guarantee card abolished which is plainly the precursor to the end of cheques.

Banks seem both arrogant and indifferent to the needs of their customers, many of whom only have to go into their local branch to feel they are an inconvenience.

When the very word banker has become almost an insult, it seems unbelievable they should try to abolish personal cheques. It would inconvenience millions of their own customers, many of them elderly people, who do not own computers, or tradesmen, the backbone of our domestic business sector.

UKIP also believes the banks should remember the British people bailed out their industry with millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money when it stood on the brink of ruin.

I am very pleased Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury, has now intervened saying there is no “credible or coherent case” for the abolition of cheques until an alternative has been fully tested.

We don’t need an alternative, cheque books still have an important role to play. Abolishing cheques is completely unacceptable and a policy UKIP will oppose at every opportunity.

PAUL NUTTALL

NORTH WEST MEP

UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY