LINO

Updated for some typographic errors.  Hat tip to Mem and Bemused. 

LINO – Liberal In Name Only.

Not Liberal as in Party.  But Liberal as in liberal.

The gift that keeps on giving, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer, has cast her shadow over Australia again.  As the Minister for something or other, she proposed new laws that prohibited the payment or receipt of more than AU$10,000 in cash be made illegal.  Not reportable.  Not discourage.  No.  ILLEGAL and subject to criminal penalty.

Thus is was on September 19 2019 that the “Liberal” government introduced the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019.  Said bill has now had 3 readings and is now off to a Senate Committee to report in 2020.

Here are some nuggets from the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill:

  • Financial impact: The Bill is estimated to have an unquantifiable impact on revenue over the forward estimates.
  • Human rights implications: This Bill engages with the right to the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy, but is consistent with those rights. See Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights — Chapter 2.
  • Compliance cost impact: Regulatory costs are estimated to be minor. The cash payment limit does not introduce any additional reporting requirement on business. Payments that exceed the limit are likely to be infrequent and most businesses use banks accounts.

Tick.  Tick.  Tick.

Unquantifiable financial impact.  Yeah right.

“… engages with the right to the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy, but is consistent with those rights.”  What the hell does that mean?  There will be no privacy – the ATO will have access to records.  And the very nature of the bill implies that all cash transactions above $10K are for the purpose of tax evasion.

“… does not introduce any additional reporting requirement on business”.  Mmmm.  How the hell would they know.

But of course like many of the lazy and deceptive laws that come from parliaments nowadays, it comes complete with associated rules.  Thus whilst the law can’t be changed without parliamentary review, the rules can be changed on ministerial whim.

When will these fools not only stop introducing such stupid laws, but worse when will they stop being conned by the administrative blob.  Such legislative architecture is manifestly anti-democratic and also economically destructive.

But that’s ok.  The political elite got their carve out – like they get from many of the laws that apply to mere citizens like privacy, spam and truth in advertising.  This was their gift from the administrative blob to approve yet another disgraceful law.  Guess what is not subject to the cash payment limit:

payments made or accepted by a public official in the course of their duties where it is necessary for the payment to be made in cash for the performance of those duties and payments made or accepted by Australian government agencies where the payment is foreign currency produced for a foreign government;

Aldi bags all around.

The idea that the Morrison government is either liberal or conservative is a myth.  Being 1 inch to the right of Bernie Sanders does not make you liberal or conservative.  All it does is make you Elizabeth Warren.

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46 Responses to LINO

  1. C.L. says:

    This was the end for me. I mean the real end of any support for this degenerate party.
    The Liberals are now banning people from spending their own money as they please.

    As noted, the law will not apply to governing elites.

  2. But that’s ok. The political elite got their carve out – like they get from many of the laws that apply to mere citizens like privacy, spam and truth in advertising. This was their gift from the administrative blob to approve yet another disgraceful law – what is not subject to the cash payment limit:

    payments made or accepted by a public official in the course of their duties where it is necessary for the payment to be made in cash for the performance of those duties and payments made or accepted by Australian government agencies where the payment is foreign currency produced for a foreign government;

    Aldi bags all around.

    They’re crooks with different rules for themselves and the only reason to obey their stupid laws is self preservation.

  3. Tel says:

    The idea that the Morrison government is either liberal or conservative is a myth. Being 1 inch to the right of Bernie Sanders does not make you liberal or conservative. All it does is make you Elizabeth Warren.

    The point is that you can win elections by being the least worst option.

    Australia already has a free market party, and hardly anyone wants to vote for them. We also have a variety of slightly more “conservative” parties like Australian Conservatives and hardly anyone votes for them either. They were not even willing to send a message by voting for AC first preference and a major party further down the preference list, which is the least you could do to give a nod to those parties with a few bucks of the first preference payout money.

  4. Tel says:

    They’re crooks with different rules for themselves and the only reason to obey their stupid laws is self preservation.

    Australia has indeed made the transition to a very low trust society … led from the top levels of government and industry who now are openly admitting they don’t see themselves as members of regular society at all anymore. They don’t trust us … we don’t trust them … uneasy impasse.

  5. Russell says:

    Won’t it be real easy to get around this stupid law anyway? You know – you rock up to a car sales with more than $10k cash to pay and the sales guy says “fine, I’ll wash that through my brother-in-law’s clean personal bank account”. I just can’t imagine a car sales rep saying “sorry, I cannot sell for cash”.
    Methink they are just preparing for negative interest rates and making people think twice about money under the mattress.

  6. bemused says:

    …new laws that prohibited the payment or receipt of more than AU$10,000 be made illegal. Not reportable. Not discourage. No. ILLEGAL and subject to criminal penalty.

    Methinks a bit of clarity required here. I presume that you mean via ‘cash’, not cheque, credit card, bank transfer etc.

  7. bemused says:

    On another note, I wonder how the high rollers at casinos will fare?

  8. mem says:

    When will these fools not only stop introducing such stupid laws, but worse when will they stop being conned by the administrative blob that such legislative architecture is anti-democratic and also destructive.

    I think you missed the word mot if my reading is correct. See below
    When will these fools not only stop introducing such stupid laws, but worse when will they stop being conned by the administrative blob that such legislative architecture is not anti-democratic and also destructive.

  9. mem says:

    Whoops. I think you missed the word not if my reading is correct.

  10. Colin Suttie says:

    The thing that staggers me is a lot of the commentary from the general public – many people can’t conceive of a situation where they’d need to spend more than $10k in cash, so therefore they’re OK with it being made illegal. Since when was that a basis for whether something should be legal or not?

  11. Iampeter says:

    When will these fools not only stop introducing such stupid laws, but worse when will they stop being conned by the administrative blob that such legislative architecture is anti-democratic and also destructive.

    Probably when people start pushing back with politically literate arguments regarding the proper functions of government.
    Until then they are getting away with whatever they want.

  12. Iampeter says:

    Since when was that a basis for whether something should be legal or not?

    Since no one knows what the actual basis is for making things legal or not.
    Not even the people that are arguing against these kinds of laws.

  13. @ Colin Suttie

    The magic $10,000 came in in the 1980s (thanks PJK). It has never been adjusted for inflation. It never will.

    Pretty soon, given the RBA’s “quantitative easing”, $10,000 in cash won’t be enough to bribe a politician (local government at least). Let alone buy a meal.

  14. struth says:

    And people still call these criminals fools.

  15. mem says:

    bemused
    #3194932, posted on October 27, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Methink they are just preparing for negative interest rates and making people think twice about money under the mattress.

    I was just thinking that this will push even more cash underground or under the bed. after all interest rates are so low you are not going to lose much once you take out fees. There will also be all types of cunning plans and transactions to avoid declaration. People show a lot of initiative when governments/authorities interfere with what is theirs.

  16. bemused says:

    I was just thinking that this will push even more cash underground or under the bed.

    But when cash is officially removed from circulation, all of that money under the bed becomes expensive padding.

  17. 2dogs says:

    Sinc should be pleased. This will greatly boost the uptake of cryptocurrencies.

  18. Pyrmonter says:

    TAFKAS has skipped a groove:

    (a) the Rukes (at least until amended) exempt private transactions:

    • payments related to personal or private transactions (other than transactions involving real property);

    (b) no way would a NSW Labor Aldi bag fall within the public business exemption.

    It’s tiresome, meddlesome law; but let’s not pretend it’s radical: most cash transactions are already reported to Austrac

  19. m0nty says:

    Goodness me! How will the IPA survive?

  20. mem says:

    Pyrmonter
    #3195018, posted on October 27, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    It’s tiresome, meddlesome law; but let’s not pretend it’s radical: most cash transactions are already reported to Austrac

    Pyrmonter must be a public servant?

  21. Tel says:

    … most cash transactions are already reported to Austrac …

    So what does this new law achieve then?

  22. @Pyrmonter

    Ahhh. The gun show exemption.

    payments related to personal or private transactions

    Is not my payment to my plumber a personal or private transaction or is that now a public transaction? And since when is TAFKAS accountable for the tax management of my service providers – unless of course the presumption is that we are all tax cheats? And what about the credit card fee premium?

    And these “rules” don’t require Parliament to approve. Just a compliant minister.

  23. m0nty
    #3195022, posted on October 27, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Goodness me! How will the IPA survive?

    I pay by direct debit.

    You’re not really cut out for adult life, are you monty?

  24. Gavin R Putland says:

    Re Colin Suttie #3194939:

    The thing that staggers me is a lot of the commentary from the general public – many people can’t conceive of a situation where they’d need to spend more than $10k in cash, so therefore they’re OK with it being made illegal.

    Well, y’know, if you wage war on the middle class by taxing capital more heavily than land, you end up with an electorate in which the overwhelming majority of voters will never be able to pay $10k cash for anything. Sow the wind…

  25. These MPs have never had to buy a second hand car, equipment for a small business or have had the public purse pay for their home maintenance or medical care.

    You might even get a farmer that sells grain at cashboard prices then pays off his vet, doctor, solicitor, fuel supplier and his workers in one hit, say $15k wouldn’t be unreasonable. If he sells 80 mt of barley in a normal year, he would only get 16-20k for that, and that might be 5-10% of annual turnover.

    To declare the above, facilitated with legal tender; as illegal, is a travesty and a joke.

  26. Pyrmonter says:

    @ mem

    Pyrmonter is a chartered accountant in private practice, who has had need to file the odd (sometimes very odd) cash transaction report.

    @ TAFKAS

    ‘personal or private’ is a slight variation on the test used in the Australian Consumer Law of ‘personal, domestic or household’ and the test used to negate income tax deductibility in s 8-1, formerly s 51(1) – outgoings of a ‘private or domestic’ nature, but I expect the differences between them are trivial.

    TAFKAS has been responsible for complying with witholding arrangements with his plumber since the Prescribed Payments Scheme was introduced in the early 1980s. To the best of Pyrmonter’s recollection, it passed with bi-partisan support; and did a good deal (together with the reforms in ANTS) to reduce the size of the black economy. Pyrmonter doesn’t like tax; but doesn’t think tax fraud is an attractive answer to it.

  27. yarpos says:

    Enforcement will be interesting to watch

    I used to work for a multi national that had a specific written policy in regard to what they called “facilitating payments” required to get things done in some countries. Aldi bags weren’t a thing yet, so nice sturdy manila envelopes had to suffice.

  28. max says:

    IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
    In the eighth century B.C., the prophet Isaiah warned the nation of Judah: “How the faithful city has become an harlot! It was full of justice; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your wine mixed with water: Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; every one loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them” (Isaiah 1:21-23). But he did not lay the blame solely on the rulers; he laid it on the whole nation: “Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they are turned away backward” (Isaiah 1:4).
    Isaiah recognized that the rulers were representatives of the people. The rulers did evil things because the people in their own lives were also doing evil things. This is not to say that all the people were guilty of rebellion. The prophet Elijah was told that a remnant still existed in Israel: a small group of seven thousand people who had not bowed to Baal (1 Kings 19:18). But the majority of the nation was involved in rebellion. Their political institutions had not preserved the nation from evil.
    Friedrich Hayek wrote in 1944 in The Road to Serfdom that in a political order that promotes compulsory wealth transfers, the worst people will rise to the top. The lure of power increases when power is concentrated at the top. The ruthlessness required to rise to power in such a power-driven political order will ensure that the worst get on top. He wrote this in the era of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
    Hayek’s critics denied his argument. They denied that it was socialism as such that allowed Hitler and Stalin to come to power. They insisted that other factors must have been involved. But from 1944 to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the worst kept rising to the top in the countries with the most centralized economies.
    Hayek blamed the economic system: socialism. The West’s socialists blamed the political system: anti-democracy. The Communists blamed counter-revolutionary forces: saboteurs. But almost nobody blamed the people who lived under tyranny.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/12335.cfm

  29. max says:

    Long before Lenin appeared on the scene, European intellectuals and politicians had accepted the economic premise of Communism: the need to establish a state that would redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. It was not some raving liberal or radical who created the modern system of compulsory welfare; it was the conservative German politician, Otto von Bismarck, who did so in the late 1870’s. The common people rejoiced, just as Bismarck knew they would. Even today in Germany there are millions of common workers who still believe that Communism at least protected them and their jobs, despite their long-term poverty. The ideal of the welfare state still is dominant in the one society that experienced the nightmare of both National Socialism and International Socialism: Germany.

    THE POLITICS OF “FAIR SHARES”
    When a politician speaks of everyone paying his fair share of taxes, he always means the rich should pay a higher percentage of income than the poor. Meanwhile, politicians offer to the middle class–the eligible voters who actually vote–their fair share of the loot that will be stolen from others by means of the ballot box. Almost no one questions the legitimacy of using the ballot box to confiscate the wealth of others. The debate centers around those who should pay their fair share–“someone else”–and those who will collect their fair share: “us.”
    One question is never raised in public: What will be everyone’s fair share of judgment when the political theft process produces economic disaster and political revolution? Everyone assumes that disaster can be deferred at least until after the next election. Everyone assumes that the bills will come due later: “Someone else will have to pay them.” But eventually, bills come due.
    When they do, societies face their moment of truth. As Hayek says, the worst will then be ready to rise to the top. Blame will be placed, but on whom? On which groups? The politics of revenge will be the great temptation. The politics of envy will have a large constituency.
    At that point the remnant must be prepared to announce the truth. What is the truth? In the words of cartoonist Walt Kelley’s Pogo Possum, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/12335.cfm

  30. max says:

    THE FALSE MORALITY OF THE WELFARE STATE
    Every culture rests on moral presuppositions. The culture of state spending rests on a false one: the widespread belief that the state is a morally legitimate instrument of coercive wealth redistribution. Until this moral presupposition is abandoned by most voters–a moral conversion which may have to be stimulated by the attention-getting occurrence of national bankruptcy (deflationary or inflationary)–there are no believable technical solutions to the culture of spending. Technical political solutions are necessary but not sufficient for overcoming the culture of spending, which is a religiously grounded viewpoint. This deeply religious impulse is made clear in Jack Douglas’ monumental book, The Myth of the Welfare State, which should be a companion volume to The Culture of Spending.
    In a society in which a majority of voters accept the role of the state as a source of wealth redistribution as morally valid, there will be widespread negative consequences. Politically, voluntary cooperation will be replaced by interest-group politics and the confiscation of private wealth. The worst will begin to rise to the top. This will eventually lead to an economic crisis and a loss of confidence in the prevailing social order. It is then that principled men must say no to the politics of the fair share. They must be ready to present both a moral critique of the culture of spending and a technical critique. It is not enough to show enraged, envy-driven voters that the welfare state has failed to deliver the goods. Voters must be reminded that their own false morality has led them into a crisis, and that repentance–a change of mind–is necessary for social healing. The culture of spending must be shown to be the moral low ground, not just an inefficient solution to the problem of scarcity.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/12335.cfm

  31. thefrollickingmole says:

    I think Im going to deliberately set out to break this law.

    Go to the bank, request $15,000 in cash (come back tomorrow job) then go and buy something nice and pricey. (2nd hand car possibly).

    All legit.

    I cant wait to see just how this will play out in court.

    “Yes I took my money, from the bank, then went to a legitimate business and paid for “x” legitimate service /items.
    Because dumb laws need to be broken, and choke the courts with their own stupidity.

  32. bemused says:

    I cant wait to see just how this will play out in court.

    Badly I suspect; however, if you glued yourself to the middle of an intersection in any CBD and disrupted traffic at peak hour, invaded a farmer’s property and stole their goats or damaged any property associated with industry in the name of a climate emergency, you’d be protected by law.

  33. Chris M says:

    then go and buy something nice and pricey

    Reckless criminal, you should be locked up.

  34. Jock says:

    You need to understand that the bureacracy and pollies hate cash. The Treasury and RBA would love to get rid of notes and coin. They cant track it for tax or any other purpose. And they think it helps criminals. Our largest note is $100 and the Treasury hate them. Hence the flood of $50 notes.

    I recall that Modi has tried to force people away from cash in India with some pushback.

  35. The interesting part of all this is that the possession of largeish amounts of cash can be seen as dodgy, and therefore can be confiscated as is happening in the US.
    The citizen with an emergency stash of $10k can now be treated as a criminal.
    The bigwig with an Aldibag and $100k, not so much.

  36. thefrollickingmole says:

    Im wondering if this will apply to the high rollers room at the Crown casino?

    If not, why not?

  37. RobK says:

    Will the folding notes have explanatory notes?
    E.g this note is legal tender for little debts under 10k.
    This is a stupid law.

  38. RobK says:

    It doesn’t apply to foreign currency? That should help the popularity of some foreign notes and bitcoin.

  39. Dr Fred Lenin says:

    We have to mke politics a part time job with minimal reward and no perks or pensions these rabbits have too much time to pretend they are legal geniuses and make new laws to look as though the are doing productive work . One term in a lifetime would sort out this lot , let Centrlink find them work washing dishes or sweeping streets .

  40. Squirrel says:

    I sometimes reflect on what the Parliament would look (and sound) like if there was a restriction on staffers standing for election without an extended break between the two.

    Rather than a gap year, perhaps a gap decade in something approximating the real world would produce a few more politicians who understood the people who pay their salaries and who could speak in language that does not send those outside the Bubble to sleep or into orbit.

  41. Beachcomber says:

    It’s interesting that in Japan, one the most technologically advanced societies, all routine money transactions are by cash. EFTPOS and PayPass facilities etc. are nowhere to be seen. The Japanese like their high tech stuff but they prefer to use wads of notes and coins when it comes to money. I wonder why.

  42. Beachcomber says:

    We have to mke politics a part time job with minimal reward and no perks or pensions these rabbits have too much time to pretend they are legal geniuses and make new laws to look as though the are doing productive work . One term in a lifetime would sort out this lot , let Centrlink find them work washing dishes or sweeping streets .

    Indeed, Dr Fred.

  43. struth says:

    Just keep USD .
    Then exchange as necessary.
    Do big cash deposit then the rest.
    Two reciepts etc.

  44. John A says:

    payments made or accepted by a public official in the course of their duties where it is necessary for the payment to be made in cash for the performance of those duties and payments made or accepted by Australian government agencies where the payment is foreign currency produced for a foreign government;

    Aldi bags all around.

    Here’s my suggestion for a cut-out for the pollies and bureaucrats:

    1. No payments of any amount made or accepted by a politician, candidate, MP, public official or other delegate of the Minister of any department are to be made in cash.

    2. Clause 1 shall bind the Crown in all its agencies, including quasi-autonomous non-government organisations and government business enterprises.

    3. Clauses 1 and 2 shall apply mutatis mutandis to all States and Territories, and to all local government authorities.

  45. John A says:

    Here is a petition and some ammunition about this stupid, pernicious attack on our freedom to abide by the present Currency Act (which defines legal tender).

    I have no idea who Robert Barwick is but he put up the petition at Change.org

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