Reducing the cash economy?

Robert Gottliebsen’s article in a recent edition of the Australian had what to my mind must be the most unique suggestion ever to reduce the role of the “cash economy“.

This was to allow a tax deduction (say 10 or 20%) for household cleaning and like expenses – and then go and audit any large household not claiming the deduction on the assumption that they must be paying their cleaners in cash!

Somehow, I don’t think so!   And anyway I don’t think household cleaning forms a big part of the cash economy.

Perhaps the suggestion was a little “tongue in cheek”, but the on-line comments on the article (if you can see them, sometimes there’s a paywall) seemed to confirm the existence of a cash economy, and numerous suggestions  were made about reducing it. These included two ideas that seem to get consistently floated:   remove $100 and $50 notes, or perhaps abolish cash completely and force everyone to use electronic payment systems.   And there were lots of comments about small businesses refusing to accept anything except cash, along with suggestions that every business should be required to accept cards – although this seemed as much for the benefit of cappuccino-drinkers who didn’t wish to have to get their fingers dirty by handling coins as for the good of the economy .

img_8809Suggestions that Europe could move towards being cashless are regularly made, no doubt fanned at least to some extent by financial institutions that would take a cut of every transaction (to say nothing of potential privacy issues).   However cultural traditions in a number of countries – including in Germany – perhaps mean it’s hard to see such a move occurring in the near future.



3 thoughts on “Reducing the cash economy?

  1. Pingback: A cashless society (2) – Musings and Mutterings

  2. Pingback: A cashless society (3) – Musings and Mutterings

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