Tuesday, 19 April 2011

My dad is 88 - and he needs cheques!

No, I don't mean he's short of money, though I'm sure if anyone felt like sending him a cheque he wouldn't say no!

What I mean is, he needs cheques in order to pay his bills. And, with his characteristic generosity, to remember his relatives' birthdays. To conduct his everyday financial affairs, in other words. He can barely leave the house and finds it difficult to get to the bank. He doesn't have a credit card, or a debit card, and doesn't want one. His mind is as sharp as ever and he reads books on everything from cosmology to the internet, but he doesn't see why he should have to get to grips with new technology. He doesn't have a computer and doesn't want one.

He's going to be seriously inconvenienced and not at all happy if the government gets rid of cheques.

One last thing about my dad. He was a rear gunner in the RAF in WW2. Joined up in 1942 when he was 18. Flew on over 130 missions. It's thanks to brave young men (and women) like my dad that we live in a free country, and a free Europe, today.

Is this how we repay people like him? Many of them already suffer poor health and some live in poverty. And now we are going to make their lives that bit harder by denying them the convenience of paying by cheque.

If we wait another 10 or 15 years, people like my dad will (sadly) all be dead. Then we can get rid of our cheques - and enjoy the freedom (?) it gives us.