A new cash law in Australia would slap people with fines and jail time for attempting to use cash in excess of $10,000 for a single transaction.
The Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 was introduced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last month. Supporters believe that a cash payment cap will crack down on criminals, stem the illicit flow of money and stop tax evaders. If passed, effective by 2020, violators who rake in large sums of cash would face fines of $25,000 and jail time up to two years.
Financial Review reports that the Treasury Department is looking into including cryptocurrencies as well, effectively prohibiting transactions in Bitcoin and altcoins that exceed $10,000.
Says assistant treasurer Stephen Jones,
“If the motivation is genuinely looking at addressing fraud, tax avoidance, terrorism and criminal activities then we should look at all of the currencies that are likely to be subject of that.
There’s always a balance in these issues but it is a very small area of the economy that walks around with $10,000 in a briefcase for a cash transaction for a single service or item.
You have got to ask questions about why anyone would be doing that.”
A petition on Change.org to squash the bill claims that lawmakers are attempting to rob Australians of their fundamental freedom. It’s garnered over 6,000 signatures.
“Stop Scott Morrison from banning cash to trap Australians in banks!
Scott Morrison’s Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 is a fraudulent assault on the freedoms of Australians.
Banning cash transactions over $10,000 will not end the tax evasion and money laundering of the ‘black economy’, but will strip individuals of their right to privacy in financial affairs, and trap them in private banks, unable to escape policies such as ‘bail-in’ and negative interest rates.”
According to a government task force, illegal activity is costing the Australian economy an estimated $50 billion each year.