UK

Taylor Review: No cash, no problem?

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The author of a government report on work practices has criticised the "cash-in-hand economy".

Matthew Taylor said cash jobs were often untaxed and worth up to £6bn a year.

Mr Taylor said he hoped transaction platforms such as PayPal and WorldPay would see cash-in-hand work eased out of favour.

The BBC spoke to a selection of workers and employers to find out if cash was still king for them.

Debbie Took: 'Electronic payment is not easier for me'

Image copyright Debbie Took

Debbie Took has been teaching or tutoring Maths for 25 years. She sees about 30 students a week from her home in Reading.

"I'm a private tutor and parents pay me by cash or cheque," she says.

"I declare all earnings and a cheque is as welcome as cash, whatever is easiest for the parent.

"I've had parents pay by bank transfer or internet banking in the past and some forget to pay me.

"Many of my students come in without their parents. Payment by phone would need the parent to be present.

"Cheques are easy. I have one in my hand at the time of tutoring and know instantly that I have been paid."

Julian Thorpe: 'We get undercut by cash'

Image copyright Julian Thorpe

Julian Thorpe, from Bradford, runs a plumbing and heating business.

He says the onus should not just be on workers, but also on customers seeking a bargain.

"People ask if it is any cheaper for cash," he says. "We then get undercut by people who say they will do it for cash.

"It makes no difference to me what I'm paid in. It all has to go in the bank.

"There are many people who work their day jobs and then do these jobs for a bit of extra money - using their firm's van, tools and materials and getting paid in cash.

"For me it's a moral thing to pay tax. It funds the NHS, social care and everything else.

"People don't see that sometimes. They have got mortgages to pay and mouths to feed."

Sam Welbourne: 'Government wants to paint me as the bad guy'

Image copyright Sam Welbourne

Sam Welbourne, from Glastonbury, has worked in the gig economy since his software business collapsed after the 2008 financial crisis.

He believes concerns about cash-in-hand work shows government is focusing on the wrong people.

"I have worked a great deal in the gig economy and never managed to raise enough tax.

"If this is made harder because of ideas about paying tax it makes my poverty worse.

"I declare everything and keep honest accounts. I feel sick that the government wants to paint me as the bad guy.

"I know loads of people who work freelance in one way or another.

"Where I am in Somerset there are people sleeping in sheds and back gardens trying to make ends meet wherever they can. There is no security from month to month."

Louie Birch: 'Electronic payment is the way forward'

Image copyright Louie Birch

Louie Birch, from Suffolk, runs a window-cleaning business and does not pay his two employees in cash.

"I was disappointed the first thing you hear about is window cleaners," he said.

"We're trying to make the trade more professional. All of my clients are offered the opportunity to use direct debit.

"If they're set up with our details we leave a receipt through the door when we clean and they can then transfer the payment into the business account.

"It makes the business run more effectively. For me it's the way forward.

"There's very little cash involved in my business."

By UGC and Social News team

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