Plaid Cymru spokesperson on Social Justice and Equalities, Sioned Williams MS, called on the Welsh Government to respond to calls made by a learning disabilities charity for publicly funded venues to retain cash payments alongside card payments.
In a question yesterday to the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, Sioned Williams, who represents South Wales West in the Senedd, said:
"I'm very proud to be chair of the Senedd Cross-party Group on Learning Disabilities, and unfortunately the inequality faced by people with learning disabilities in everyday life is a regular topic of discussion in our meetings.
"There can be nothing more everyday than money, but over the last few months [learning disabilities charity] Mencap Cymru have heard from many people concerned that more and more businesses and organisations are moving to cashless payments only for their goods and services. As many people who have a learning disability do not have access to their own bank accounts, or their cards may only allow them to withdraw cash but not pay by card, they're unable to pay for everyday things solely by card. This means they're unable to have equal access to many shops, restaurants and leisure amenities.
"But while an individual with a learning disability may not have the capacity to manage a bank account, or use debit or credit cards, they certainly have the capacity to use cash, and this is an important part of their independence; it helps them with budgeting items, ensuring they don't get into debt. So, Minister, what is Welsh Government doing to enable people with learning disabilities to pay for things with cash wherever and whenever they need to, to preserve their independence, confidence and agency, ensuring that they can participate fully in society? Will you respond to the calls made by a petition started by Mencap Cymru for publicly funded venues, or those receiving grants, such as leisure centres, museums, et cetera, to retain cash payments alongside card payments?"
Responding, the Social Justice Minister, Jane Hutt MS said that she had recently written to the Chair of the Petitions Committee, Jack Sargeant, responding to that petition.
The petition, which has received 1,926 signatures, closed on Monday and is now under consideration by the Senedd Petitions Committee.
Watch Sioned Williams' question below: