The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, which claims to be the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy group representing taxpayers, has welcomed the shelving of the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019.
If it has passed through Parliament and become law, it would have fined businesses and individuals for making transactions adding up to and exceeding $10,000 in cash.
Bill ‘an attack on economic freedom’
“The cash ban claimed to crack down on the black economy. In reality, the only thing it attacked was our economic freedom,” said the alliance. It added that Parliament had “quietly abandoned” the bill.
According to the organisation’s Policy Director, Emilie Dye, the cash ban would have a clear example of government overreach in deciding what kind of legal tender Australians could use.
“Australians should be able to choose in what form they make legal purchases, without being forced into the banking system,” she said.
There would have been many victims
“The limits on the use of cash would have had many victims, including small businesses, individuals who value their privacy, and certain industries that depend upon cash payments to operate.”
Dye noted that, while most Australians don’t regularly make payments over $10,000 in cash, the bill failed to tie the threshold to inflation.
“Within 10 years, the ban would have encompassed transactions of approximately $8,000 in real buying power. The cash ban bill was a death sentence for cash,” she warned.
Our banks could have behaved badly
“All Australians would have suffered from this bill. In a country where a few big players make up the bulk of the banking industry, banks have only one major competitor: cash. By taking away cash, banks could behave badly, increasing fees, lowering interest rates, and de-banking industries they dislike, with few consequences.”
Dye said the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance believes he way to stop crime is not to treat ordinary Australians like criminals.
“The cash ban reduces hard-working Australians to juveniles. This piece of legislation that should remain resigned to the ash heap of history,” she stated.