As befits a responsible Chancellor of the Exchequer, and perhaps to prove that the UK has “regained control of its money” Phillip Hammond has, apparently, decided to ensure that the country retains all denominations of its coins. This includes small denominations such as the 1p and 2p coin which, following a review by the Treasury last year, had seemed destined for the smelter as it seems most of them were only used once. No doubt many ended up in a jar on a shelf. Mr Hammond, however, has come to the rescue of coppers in an effort to turn back the tide of the cashless society. This is probably a fruitless ambition but there are many who argue that the symptoms of such a society, including the withdrawal of many free ATMs around the country and the refusal to accept cash payments, disadvantages many vulnerable people who rely on cash.
One such person is Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Commons Treasury Select Committee who has asked for additional measures to ensure that cash remains widely
accepted and a review of the extent to which shops and services are refusing to accept cash. In response, I shall be writing to her pointing out the irony of the fact that British Airways will not take cash payment for one of its on-board M&S sandwiches but shortly after trolley service is finished, the cabin crew will ask you to donate your unwanted coins for charity.