Release: Cash Transactions Ban Attacks Our Liberties 

31 July 2019

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), a 75,000+ member national grassroots advocacy group that represents the nation’s taxpayers, today condemned the Morrison government's proposed ban on cash payments for goods and services exceeding $10,000 AUD.

"This law is an attack on individual liberty." said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy. "Government has no business controlling how we spend our money. They certainly have no problem spending hardworking taxpayers' money with little control by us.

"It's also rather perverse that we now see a law that will force Australians to obtain consent from a bank for transactions valued over $10,000 at a time when dubious behaviour and entrenched oligopolies in the banking sector are being called out, .

"The law is also an attack on law-abiding, taxpaying small businesses who currently report large cash transactions to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), and who could face punitive fines and penalties after 2021 if they don't phase out cashless transactions entirely. By contrast, the criminal syndicates whom the government portray as this law's main targets, will find other means or will continue to operate outside the law.

"The only beneficiaries of this proposal will be large, multinational digital payments companies and the big banks who want to cut staffing costs involved in cash withdrawals and deposits by pushing consumers onto solely digital payments, thereby boosting their profits in the process.

"Digital systems come with pitfalls. When payments systems crash, like the monopolistic Visa system did last year, millions who are dependent on them are left stranded. Cash doesn't crash. It doesn't require external data centres and cannot be remotely monitored or controlled by government bureaucrats, or harvested for data and fees by big finance. All of us should be concerned by the government-mandated push to a cashless society."

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Brian Marlow