Blog

NHS And Social Care Funding Crisis

Thursday 8th February 2018

The news is dominated by the severe problems facing the NHS and Social Care. Budgets are fully stretched and staff are under extreme pressure to deliver the quality of of care and service needed. If only everyone who should be financially contributing to these vital public services actually did. Sadly, far too many people are not paying their fair share of taxes to the UK economy mostly because they are relying on cash to evade paying tax. Currently only hard-working, honest people are paying tax and this imbalance is unsustainable. We now have many new, secure payment systems to suit everyone, every business , charities, children, elderly, disadvantaged people and we no longer need cash. Cash is the currency of choice for the so…

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New Year Cashless Resolutions

Tuesday 2nd January 2018
Jon Levenson

Each new year heralds an opportunity to make some changes - lose weight, quit smoking etc. This year let's also try a cash diet ( as opposed to a "crash" diet!). It is a small step to try to go a day without cash , perhaps initially just once or twice a week, gradually building up over time and soon most people will discover they don't need cash at all. Here are a ten tips to help get started on a life without cash. 1 Use your contactless debit or credit card whenever possible for smaller purchases ( up to £30) . Most pubs and corner shops now accept contactless payments. 2 Ask your gardener, cleaner and baby sitter to provide their…

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Card Fees To Be Outlawed In 12 Days

Monday 1st January 2018
Jon Levenson

The New Year's Eve Sunday Telegraph ran a great front page story by Katie Morley pointing out it will become unlawful for businesses to charge consumers additional fees when paying by credit or debit cards. The card charges retailers pay to process card payments were dramatically reduced 18 months ago by EU regulations yet many failed to pass on these savings to customers. Some retailers were and are still unaware of the hugely reduced transaction fees now permitted by both MasterCard and Visa. Where credit card processing fees used to be on average 2% of the purchase price this was reduced to 0.3% ( 0.2% for debit cards ). This equates to a £100 spend no longer attracting a fee…

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Bank Closures Could Be Reversed In A Cashless Society

Saturday 2nd December 2017

There have been more bank branch closures announced by RBS including many for NatWest. Of course many people find mobile/app banking and internet banking convenient while others still prefer to visit their branch to be attended to by a member of bank staff. One of the key drivers for bank branch closures is the ever increasing operational costs resulting in vast branch networks becoming unsustainable. The main cost is keeping the branches secure. They are expensive buildings with thick walls together with having to maintain and upgrade sophisticated security systems. Banks remain targets by criminals for hold-ups with ATM's being dragged out of the walls in the dead of night. In a cashless society banks would be instantly freed up from the constraints of…

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£2 Billion Benefit Fraud Last Year

Friday 1st December 2017

The Department of Work and Pensions has just released figures relating to losses for 2016/17. Some of the £3.6 billion total loss during that period included errors and overpayments of which £1.1 billion was recovered. This still leaves a huge amount of losses due to fraud. Some of the loss will be illegal claims for size of dependants or disabilities, while a huge amount of bogus claims will be because people are still paid cash-in-hand. These people are working and also illegally claiming benefits. Every illegal claim is theft. It is theft from all honest, hardworking people who are subsidising the so-called black economy. The term "black economy" softens the reality of the crime involved. A far better name would be "The…

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Mersey Tunnel Cashless Fast Tag

Wednesday 29th November 2017
Jon Levenson

Mersey Travel, the operators of both the Wallasey and Birkenhead tunnels has introduced an excellent fast tag payment system at the tolls. The system has been in place for some time and works extremely efficiently. It is very easy to get a fast tag via their website, indeed this blog author received his by post the very next day. Payment is via a direct debit to the driver's bank account ( or employer's bank ) and the tag's transponder informs the toll the vehicle has passed through the tunnel. There are four main benefits, firstly it offers a reduced toll fee ( 30% less), secondly it becomes extremely quick to pass through the toll gates often with no queue or…

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Cash Is Unsustainable

Wednesday 8th November 2017
Jon Levenson

The simple fact is cash has become unsustainable. The UK economy can no longer afford the huge amount of income tax, VAT fraud and other crime which occurs because of the illegal use of cash. Cash is the currency of criminals. Cash is the currency of tax cheats. Cash is a tax haven for tax evasion. At last we now have many new alternative payment methods to use instead of bank notes and coins. There are systems to suit everyone, every business, charities, children, elderly and disadvantaged people. A cashless UK would create an economic boost of at least £20 billion every year and there would be a decrease in overall crime. This could mean additional funding for our essential public services together with…

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Cash Is The UK's Haven For Tax Evasion

Monday 6th November 2017
Jon Levenson

The media has been filled with overseas tax avoidance "havens" involving vast amounts of money. Tax avoidance is not necessarily illegal and many businesses use tax these loopholes. It is up to the Government to tighten regulations to ensure profits generated within the UK are also taxed in the UK. There is a much more sinister and highly illegal tax fraud occurring everyday here in the UK with tax evasion by tax thieves operating within the so-called black economy. Tax cheats are using cash to evade their income tax and VAT obligations and in doing so are stealing from all honest, hard-working people. Cash itself is, in effect, a tax "haven" for tax thieves. Such is the sheer scale of unpaid tax because…

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Ross Clark Mail Online

Friday 3rd November 2017
Jon Levenson

In today's Mail Online Ross Clark is possibly looking at cash through the wrong end of the telescope when he says heading for a cashless society by stealth is a conspiracy driven by the greed of financial institutions. The fact is honest, hard-working people are being ripped off by at least £20 billion every year in the UK by greedy people using cash for illicit purposes by not paying income tax and VAT. Most honest people do not feel there is anything to fear from traceable and transparent transactions. Credit and debit card interchange fees have recently been massively reduced which Mr. Ross doesn't mention. Credit card fees have been reduced by MasterCard and Visa from around 2% to 0.3%, with debit card fees…

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Going Cashless Eases Pressure On Police Budgets And Could Mean Officers Get Pay Rise

Wednesday 1st November 2017
Jon Levenson

At today's Police Chiefs and Police and Crime Commissioners conference the pressure on funding became a very important issue. The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, seemed disinclined to increase budgets over what has already been agreed for the next year or two. Cash is the currency of crime and criminals. A cashless society would bring an overnight reduction in crime especially the huge amount of petty offences. A stolen laptop or mobile phone could not easily be disposed of without cash. Prisons could at last see a reduction of inmates to the extent that new prisons may not need to be built. We now have many new, secure, traceable payment systems to suit everyone, every business, charities, children, elderly and disadvantaged…

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