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22nd Aug 2023

NCT move towards cashless tests met with backlash and calls for reversal

Fiona Frawley

nct cashless tests

“It’s a terrible decision and should be reversed”.

The NCT’s plans to go cashless has received major backlash, with TD’s arguing the test should be “easier to book, not harder”.

The motor testing service announced yesterday (Monday, August 21) that it was “going cashless over the coming months” and warned drivers that they would have to pay in advance for the service.

In a post on social media, the NCT wrote:

“We’re saying goodbye to cash! NCTs are going cashless over the coming months for your safety and convenience, this means that payment must be made in advance of attending for your NCT. When introduced, payment can be made online or by postal order.”

However, in the wake of the announcement, there was been major backlash to the decision, highlighting concerns over older people who do not use online services.

Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy group for older people said:

“Older age is the indicator for who is digitally excluded. Almost 300,000 people aged 60 or older were not using the internet at all in 2022.

“A cashless service puts these people at risk of financial abuse and erodes their independence.”

TDs criticise NCT decision to go cashless

TDs also weighed in on the decision, which was made by NCT operator Applus+ Inspection Services.

Laois-Offaly Independent TD Carol Nolan criticised the decision, saying:

“It just makes no sense for the NCT to adopt this approach when we spent almost the entirety of 2022 and well into 2023 trying to ensure that everything possible was done to reduce the backlog in and re-instate an average waiting period of 12 days. They should be making it easier on people to book their tests, not harder.

“The NCT and the RSA urgently need to re-think this one and stop making people’s lives more difficult than they already are.”

Speaking on the Newstalk Breakfast show today, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín said:

“it’s a terrible decision by the NCT and it should be reversed. Cash is the most inclusive way to pay for items.

“It means that people – no matter what their age or their skill level, no matter if they’ve access to the internet or smartphones – that they have the ability to participate fully in society.

“Cash is recognised to be crucial, especially for the inclusion of vulnerable citizens”.

Header image via Facebook/NCT Ireland 

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