Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has stated that that it is now time that there
is a national conversation about the use of cash in every-day trade.
His comments come after the National Car Test facility decided to reverse its decision to go
According to deputy Toibín, “Aontú campaigned over the last week to get the NCT to reverse
its decision about cash and we welcome the news that they have seen sense and will allow
cash to be used to pay for the service.
“The idea of saying to 350,000 people without bank accounts had to pay electronically for a
service for which non-payment could land you in jail or in with a massive fine is ridiculous.
The NCT now join the AIB and the GAA in reversing the decision for mandatory electronic
transactions. The truth is the Minister of Finance needs to set policy in this area. We need to
decide what role cash will have in the future in Ireland”.
Peadar Toibín added that that while more and more people are using debit cards for daily
transactions, a large number still prefer to use cash.
“Electronic payments are the efficient payment choice of many people and that is absolutely
fine. But allowing a cash option is still the most inclusive way to run a state service or a
“Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly old, young or on low incomes do not have bank
accounts. Many businesses do not have card machines. Many people do not have access to
sufficient ICT skills, broadband or even mobile phone signals to carry out electronic
“We have a duty of care especially with older people that they remain independent for as long
as possible. Making them dependent on their children or neighbours just to transact with the
world is wrong”.
He went on to say that if the transition from cash to card happens too quickly, those who rely
on the traditional form of raising funds are likely to lose out.
“Many others too rely on cash. Many people in the services industry rely on cash tips. Club
fundraisers rely on cash for club lotteries. Charities, buskers, church gate collections will all
suffer if the government allows the cash to be deleted in daily transactions.
Having cash options available also reduces the danger of systemic electronic crises such as
cyber-attacks on banks. ICT deficits in Banks have already caused major problems this year.
My own town of Navan over the weekend suffered from an outage on card machines
necessitating cash for transactions.”
Peadar Toibín says he has written to the Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Finance Committee
John McGuiness to request a meeting on the future of Cash in Ireland.
He is also requesting that the Minister for Finance and representatives from the Central Bank
and the Department of Finance can attend to discuss this issue.