A survey by home service marketplace, Plentific.com, has revealed that almost half (46%) of UK adults admit to having paid a tradesman cash in hand for work, to get a cheaper deal.
This data comes following the recent Taylor Review, by Matthew Taylor, in which a reduction of cash in hand payments in the UK was suggested. Mr Taylor stated that work paid for using cash could be worth up to £6bn a year, and quite often goes untaxed. While a complete ban on cash payments was not put forward, the review did suggest that a cashless society, largely due to the increasing popularity of digital payment platforms, could one day be the norm.
The statistics show that adults aged 55 and over are more likely to pay a tradesman cash in hand (56%), compared to young adults (18 to 34-year-olds), of which just 33% admitted they had paid using cash to get a cheaper deal. While this suggests that the older generation may be more thrifty when it comes to hiring a tradesman, it could also reflect the changing times, with cash payments becoming far less frequent in today’s economy.
Based on location, Liverpool came top of the table for the number of adults who say they have paid a tradesman cash in hand for work (54%). According to the data, a quarter of Londoners (25%) said they have paid a tradesmen in cash in the past year. This compares to 22% of adults in Plymouth and Southampton, and 21% of adults in Cardiff.
But being paid for work using a payment platform helps to ensure a level playing field in terms of job competition, as well as often providing a lot more security than cash in hand payments. Having a backed guarantee and digital paper trail means that any dispute over payments can be backed up with hard evidence.
Metin Savas, from renovation firm Metin and Co., commented: “When I quote a customer for a job, I do sometimes get asked if there would be a discount for paying in cash. But in today’s society, it’s so much easier to deal with online payments or bank transfers which are protected, so for me that’s the far better option.’
Stephen Jury, spokesperson for Plentific, commented: “Tradesmen are often painted in a bad light by the media when it comes to things like cash in hand payments. Our statistics show that actually, it can be the customers who are driving this option to save a few pounds.
“Plentific allows homeowners to find and pay tradesmen securely online. Paying in cash is costing the government an enormous amount of money and people are putting themselves at unnecessary risk.”