20 Aug 2019
Australians could face two-year jail sentences and fines of up to $25,200 under proposed laws that limit the use of cash to $10,000 — a move some groups argue would create an Orwellian state by giving authorities greater control over people’s finances.
A number of stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to withdraw the proposed laws, which were first announced in the 2018-19 budget as part of measures to fight the so-called black economy.
The Government’s Black Economy Taskforce had argued a $10,000 cash limit for transactions between businesses and individuals would help fight the cash economy by stamping out tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes.
But some groups fear the laws could give the banks, which have faced much scrutiny under the banking royal commission, too much control over peoples’ money.
The laws would apply to all payments made to businesses with an ABN for goods or services, affecting major purchases like cars, boats, housing, and building renovations.
The Government has said the measure will not apply to individual-to-individual transactions, such as private sales where the seller does not have an ABN, or cash payments to financial institutions.
The laws, if passed, would take force on January 1, 2020, and for certain AUSTRAC reporting entities from January 1, 2021.
By Nassim Khadem, ABC News Online, 20 August 2019
Read more at ABC News Online
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