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Seniors concerned with feds getting rid of cheques

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Some seniors are concerned the federal government is phasing out cheques over the next four years.

Money will be deposited directly into people’s bank accounts instead.

Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC President Sylvia MacLeay says this could be a big problem.

“I am perfectly healthy, I have a vehicle to drive and I am familiar with that kind of activity, so this will actually help me,” MacLeay says. “However, there are lots of seniors with limited mobility and some of them don’t have bank accounts in the first place.”

The feds believe the move will save more than $17-million and will cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Seventy-five percent of government payments are already made by direct deposit, but MacLeay fears this will make life more difficult for lots of elderly people.

“Anything outside of what they are used to now probably would require a certain amount of complication,” MacLeay says. “Some of those people would be scared to fill out a sheet of paper or whatever the government might want.”

The government wants to stop sending out cheques altogether by April, 2016. Exceptions will be made for people living in remote areas or other “exceptional circumstances.”