Readers' letters: We need to protect the right to use cash

Yesterday, I visited my local supermarket to buy a newspaper.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 7:00 am

When I went to pay for this single item, I was astonished to find that only one of the 12 self-service check-outs was set up to take cash. It was in use, while most of the other eleven were free.

Two days earlier when I went to pick up a drill which had been in for servicing, the cashier apologised that their cash machine was down.

Fortunately, I had cash on me, and they were willing to take it. Otherwise, it would have been a wasted journey.

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To varying degrees all the supermarkets restrict the use of cash. What happens when they stop accepting cash and the government phases it out completely?

What happens, when there is a nationwide system outage, as happened to Visa some years ago, or a major cyber-attack by a hostile state (Russia comes to mind)? We will be entirely dependent on reliable electricity supply, telecommunications and electronic card processing. If any of these are down, we won’t even be able to buy a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread.

The political parties, the civil service and big business are leading us on a sleepwalk to a fragile payments system. To ensure resilience we need legislation to protect the right to use cash.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.

More devolution is the way forward

If the SNP truly want to get rid of the Tories, they will need to brush off that huge chip on their shoulder, reduce the shrillness of their position and accept that any referendum on independence is years away.

In an alternative scenario, I have no doubt that if the next Westminster government is a Labour one, its campaign/manifesto to get there will commit to a significant devolution of powers to Holyrood. I personally particularly have in mind employment law.

I am afraid voters in Scotland of whatever political persuasion and none and who would not ordinarily vote for Scottish Labour will undoubtedly get Tories and Boris (or his replacement).

If they do not lend their vote accordingly, they will usher in five years of "more of the same". That would be a disaster for my great country.

Douglas McBean, Edinburgh.

City’s road create a poor impression

Arriving in Edinburgh by car at the weekend, I was reminded how little regard the city's council have for the impression poorly-maintained roads make upon visitors.

The neglect is immed-iately apparent turning onto the A90, where I have to wonder if the 50mph limit on the dual carriageway is an effort to limit damage to vehicles navigating the fractured road surface.

In addition to the various potholes and general impression of decay is the cycle lane on Queensferry Road, between Orchard Park and the junction with Craigleith Road.

I assume this was submitted as an April Fool's joke and passed by someone with no sense of humour.

Whoever poorly-served voters felt compelled to choose in local elections must do better, Edinburgh's roads are shameful.

Hamish Hossick, Broughty Ferry.

Stone age economics

Nicola Sturgeon’s delight at the success of Sinn Féin, the SNP's sister party, can't conceal the reality that most people in Ulster didn't vote for them and only about a third want a border poll.

Sinn Féin's ambition to govern all Ireland horrifies most people south of the border. Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds remarked that their economic policies would send the country "back to the Stone Age."

Martin O’Gorman, Edinburgh.

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