Cash Machine Notspots in the UK's Poorest Areas Add to the Misery of Poverty

By Gary Cutlack on at

300,000 of the UK's poorest people don't have access to a free ATM, meaning the banks and cash machine operators are heaping small amounts of extra misery on those who have no choice but to pay should they want to withdraw their cash locally.

According to stats the Guardian withdrew from cash machine network Link, there are 269 low income areas in the UK where residents don't have a free-to-use cash machine within 1km of their homes. Areas in south Wales, the north-west and the north-east the most likely to suffer from free cash access limitations, where the poorer members of society are most likely to rely on cash to pay the majority of their bills and expenses.

Labour MP Frank Field is leading the attack on the concept of charging the poorest to access their money, saying: "If you are a single young man, unemployed on benefits, you are charged £3 to take out your £56 a week in local shops. That's a rip-off that makes Wonga look like Santa Claus." [Guardian]