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Cash machine use spikes as Brits receive cost-of-living payments

Written by: Rebecca Goodman
There was a 12% rise in the number of withdrawals from the ATM network this week, figures reveal.

Since Tuesday, the amount withdrawn rose 14% and a total of £87m extra was taken out from LINK cash machines, when compared to the same days in 2021.

It comes in the week the government began making its second cost-of-living payment, giving eligible Brits £324, to help offset rising costs.

The government began making these payments on 8 November and they will be paid until 23 November.

Around eight million people are expected to benefit from these cost-of-living payments. The first £326 of the total £650 cost-of-living payment was made in July.

Payments to help with rising costs

The payment is a grant, which is tax-free and doesn’t impact benefit entitlements.

The money is being paid to people who already receive the following means-tested benefits: Universal Credit, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, working tax credit, child tax credit, or pension credit.

It is paid directly into the account where benefits are usually paid. In a small number of cases, there may be delays to payments, but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it will contact those affected.

This is just one measure as part of the government’s £37bn package of support to help people with rising costs as inflation rose to 10.1% in September while food inflation hit 14.7%. 

Energy bills have also seen huge rises and are set to reach £3,700 from April when the Energy Price Guarantee ends, according to analysis by leading energy consultancy, Cornwall Insight.

More spikes to come as payments due before Christmas

Graham Mott, director of strategy for LINK, said: “This week has been much busier than expected for LINK cash machines.

“The middle of November is normally pretty quiet, often not helped by the weather, but this week has seen a real boost to cash as consumers get their cost-of-living payments. We may well see some more spikes in ATM use going forward as more payments are due before Christmas.”

Around 90% of cash withdrawals are made through ATMs and around £1.5bn is withdrawn every week, though cash use has been in decline.

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