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Cheques out!

Plans to get rid of the humble cheque by the year 2018 have been attacked in the House of Lords, with the government urged to use its stake in the bailed-out banks to make sure cheques are not phased out.

The UK Payment Council has vowed to rid Britain of cheques by 2018, providing that there are viable alternatives in place.

Lib Dem Baroness Kramer said that in Germany, where you can no longer pay by cheque, some people kept large amounts of cash on them. She asked the government: ‘Will you make sure that the Payments Council understands that this is not one of the answers?’

In reply, Lord Sassoon said the UK Payments Council thinks the new system must be ‘generally available … generally acceptable to the users and … widely adopted.’ And telling, he added: ‘There has to be, in the view of the Government, also a paper-based system.’

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