In a bid to clamp down on criminal activities and tax evaders, the Australian Federal Treasury proposed a currency restriction bill dubbed Use of Cash Bill in July this year to restrict the amount that can be used in cash transactions.
The bill proposes a fine of 25,000 AUD (appr. $16,895) and and a two-years jail sentence for business owners who accept cash payments of 10,000 AUD ($6,758) by the end of 2020.
Although back in July, the drafted Bill only covered cash transactions, the lawmakers have moved to extend the $10,000 limit to gambling and cryptocurrencies, according to a Wednesday report.
According to assistant treasurer Stephen Jones, if the aim is to curtail tax evasion and criminal activities, then all currencies should be subjected to the Bill.
“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,” Jones added.
However, Australians are not pleased with the Bill and have raised a petition on Change.org to squash the Bill. The petition claims that the drafted legislation is an attempt to rob Australians of their fundamental freedom.
The petition currently has over 6,000 signatures with claims that “Banning cash transactions over $10,000 will not end the tax evasion and money laundering of the “black economy.”
Although government’s black-economy taskforce reports that illegal activities costs the Australian economy an estimated $50 billion each year, Queensland MP Bob Katter think the ban will only do more harm than good noting that it represents a danger to Australians’ freedom that is “greater than the danger to our lives through terrorism.’’