Plan to ban cash purchases over $10,000 set to become law as Senate inquiry gives thumbs up
The Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 passed the House of Representatives last year, but was referred to a Senate inquiry for further debate.The Senate committee recommended that the bill be passed contingent upon several changes, including that the start date is extended to give businesses sufficient time to comply, and that the Federal Government review the penalty provisions to ensure they are not "overly harsh".
The law was due to take hold on January 1, but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has given the Senate committee an undertaking that the law will not be applied retrospectively.
The bill has caused a stir among the Liberal Party, with some members arguing it is antithetical to the party's values.
The inquiry received 2,659 submissions by early December, with the majority of submissions opposing the bill, and many arguing the Government should not interfere with their legal right to spend cash how they wish.
But the Federal Government has consistently argued the measure is intended to fight the black economy, by stamping out tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes.
Some critics are complaining this could be the start of the government banning cash purchases altogether, where cash payment limit might eventually be reduced below the proposed legislated amount of $10,000.
The committee also dismissed concerns raised about the bill's impact on privacy and civil liberties, noting, "this must be balanced against the concerns raised by other stakeholders who described the negative impacts of criminal activity and tax evasion".
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-28/ ... s/12011488
The government wants to be able to track all big purchases and make them have to go through a bank, and severely punish all those who do not comply and try to pay cash for big purchases.
also from the article:
"By criminalising the use of legal tender … this government is blithe to the fundamental freedoms provided by hard currency, and is instead laying down a path towards surveillance capitalism and negative interest rates," Senator Whish-Wilson said.
That's another issue. One of the other points that conservative critics complain about is that this this is all part of a plan that will allow government to have negative interest rates. That is, where people actually have to pay a percentage of money to keep their money in the bank. Many policymakers want the option of being able to institute negative interest rates to stimulate the economy, but of course once interest rates go below zero percent it creates a lot of complications.
Huge huge problem with civil liberties here.
I honestly can't fathom why the critics are focusing so much on the worry of future potential for negative interest rates. Not that that's not a legitimate worry, but that worry seems to pale in comparison to the other concerns.
Seems like a classic cases of, on the conservative side, wealthy elites caring more about their money and wealth than individual liberties.
In my opinion, the politicians who aren't opposing this don't deserve to be called "Liberal".