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Time to axe cash points that charge. MP urges councils to use their power

January 6, 2015 1:23 PM

TF KendalLocal councils are being urged by South Lakes MP Tim Farron to use their powers over business rates to increase access to free-to-use cash machines in neighbourhoods and communities throughout Cumbria.

Companies who install and operate cash machines generally pay business rates to the local authority for each machine. Small convenience stores can struggle with this cost, despite there being help available from Government that offers business rates discounts to these firms.

Councils opting to provide a local discount on rates can incentivise shops and cash point providers to install new machines and remove charges on pay-to-use machines. Tim wants councils to make full use of these powers to benefit local residents and make free cash machines widely available on all our high streets.

Under the government's business rates retention scheme, central government funds 50% of the cost of any local discount granted.

Tim said: "People should not have to pay a charge to access their own money. Many local businesses are offering this service, but the only cash point they can offer is one that charges. I hope that with these powers we can help local shops to offer a free-to-use cash point, something that will help local residents and boost local trade too.

"Councils can reduce businesses rates for firms that commit to introduce new cash machines into areas, or remove charges on existing machines. I am urging them to do exactly that."