Minister for Finance says public bodies must keep accepting cash payments
Cash is king: Minister Michael McGrath criticised National Car Testing Service for announcing earlier this week that it would no longer accept cash payments
21 September 2023
In a win for those who are keen to ward off a cashless society, the Department of Finance confirmed rhat all public bodies have been told they must continue to accept cash payments from people for services.
The announcement followed sharp criticism of the operator of the National Car Testing Service for stating earlier this week that it would no longer accept cash payments.
The Irish Times reports that Minister for Finance Michael McGrath signalled the move on accepting cash in a letter to fellow Ministers in June. Within this, he stated public bodies under the State’s aegis should continue to accept cash payments.
Minister McGrath posted on X, formerly Twitter: “I am currently preparing Access to Cash legislation & developing a new National Payments Strategy. I have therefore asked my Cabinet colleagues to ensure bodies under their remit continue to accept cash from members of the public seeking to access services.”
The Department of Finance is examining a new National Payments Strategy (NPS) that will decide whether cash payments to State bodies should continue.
The NPS will examine the acceptance of cash issue and consider if legislation should be introduced to require certain sectors or sub-sectors to accept or facilitate the acceptance of cash, the department said. Minister McGrath has requested that his government maintain existing methods of cash payment for public bodies under their remit, pending the outcome of the National Payments Strategy.
“The NPS will consult the public in Q4 2023 on this topic and a finalised Strategy will be published in 2024,” Minister McGrath wrote. “This engagement process will consider whether it should be government policy that public bodies should accept or facilitate the acceptance of cash for the payment of goods, services, taxes, levies, fees or charges. The Minister is looking forward to hearing from the public and stakeholders on this topic through a public consultation.”