OLDHAM West and Royton MP Jim McMahon has joined calls for the government to put forward a law protecting the most vulnerable in our society from being left behind by the transition to a cashless society.

The Covid-19 pandemic and concerns about how hygienic the use of cash is have accelerated society's move towards becoming wholly cashless, with more than a third of shoppers reporting that they’ve been refused when trying to pay cash at least once since the first lockdown back in March 2020.

Compounded by the decrease in how often cash is being accepted, it is becoming increasingly harder to access cash for free.

Nationwide's nearly 9,000 free cash machines have closed in the last two years, likewise many high-street branches have closed and often leaving in place cash machines that charge up to £2 to access your own cash – a story that residents in Royton will be all too familiar with, said Mr McMahon.

The MP and chair of the Co-operative Party, said “Access to cash is vital for so many in our community, as the banks turned their backs on our high streets too many people in Chadderton, Oldham and Royton are left with either no local bank branch or no free cash machines.”

“And far too often communities are being charged to withdraw their own cash from cash machines that remain in place.

“Millions of people in the UK and thousands of them in our town are reliant on cash and would massively struggle without it.

"Last year the chancellor promised legislation to protect access to cash, and we’ve seen no protections brought in since then. Only by protecting peoples access to cash in the Budget on March 3 can we protect the most vulnerable who rely on cash.”