We have warned you before and it is now starting to happen that government departments will soon be able to access your bank account using ‘open banking’ type features.
It has been announced today that the Department for Work and Pensions will be given permission to access any bank account history (both past and present) of a person that is being paid government benefits including state pensions, pension credits, universal credit and other means tested benefits.
‘Do-gooders’ will say this is an invasion of privacy but most will accept that it will offer a means to automatically check the people are receiving benefits that they are entitled to and those that are committing benefit fraud will be caught.
The government will also argue that they will also be able to spot those that are entitled to further benefits and are not claiming them. We suspect this is a smoke screen because if ‘alarm bells’ ar not going off then an account may not be checked.
We believe this is a good thing. Whilst having some reserve, most people should accept the these are not ‘benefits’ these are credits to help the poor. We have to move away from thinking that we are entitled to a ‘benefit’.
Making tax digital (MTD) whilst posptoned until 2026, is coming for self-employed individuals and landlords, where your bank accounts will be linked to bookkeeping software and then filed with HMRC, meaning indirect access for HMRC too. Whilst many may not look forward to this, it works perfectly well for those running payroll and all limited company businesses have been required to fie VAT returns and payroll for a number of years now.
In additon, we know that Self Assessment and our Personal Tax Accounts will also be linked to our bank accounts at some point, so gradually ‘Big Brother’ HMRC will have access to most of your financial information. We suspect the use of cash will increase yet again. Is it any wornder the Bank of England wants to phase out the use of cash and even introduce a ‘Britcoin’ cryptocurrency?