CEC Robert Berwick about Money

Stop Parliament passing Morrison’s cash ban!

Parliament resumes on Monday 9 September, which gives us very little time to melt down their phone lines with forceful objections against the $10,000 cash ban.

In the last week there’s been an explosion of publicity for the cash ban, and our Change.org petition has hit 10,000 signers. Click here to sign and share: Stop Scott Morrison from banning cash to trap Australians in banks!

(The CEC has also produced a printed version of the Change.org petition which people can print out and share. Everyone should print copies to give to all of the businesses in the shopping strips of your suburbs and towns. Tell them all to contact the local MP. Click here for a PDF file of the printed petition.)

By contrast, Treasury is trying to cover up the backlash it has received against the exposure draft of the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019. It has been more than two weeks since the consultation period closed, but Treasury still hasn’t disclosed how many submissions it received, nor posted any of them on its website.

The ABC has continued its good reporting on this issue, with an online article yesterday that proves the ban is less about the black economy than trapping Australians in negative interest rates: “Banning cash so you pay the bank to hold your money is what the IMF wants”. (The ABC’s Facebook post of this article is generating enormous interest.)

We must ram this message home. Major-party politicians are pressured to conform to their party machines, and not think independently. They aren’t supposed to question Treasury’s reasons for this cash ban. For instance, one ignorant Liberal MP called the connection between the cash ban and negative interest rates “paranoid supposition”. The only way to make them think is to bombard them with phone calls that demonstrate the enormous public anger over this ban.

It is most important to call all Labor Party MPs and Senators, and the cross-benchers. Unless they oppose the law, there will be no pressure on the government, and it will be able to pass in the same way that Parliament waved through the bail-in law in the Valentine’s Day Massacre of February 2018.

Most importantly, everyone should make two calls: to your local MP, and to Anthony Albanese’s office. For every call that an MP gets, Albo should get one too.

If you can, don’t stop there. Also call the Labor Senators, and the cross-bench Senators, in your state. (See contact details below.)

What to say

All you have to do is firmly express your opposition, saying something like:

“Hi, I’m NAME. I’m calling to say I’m outraged by the $10,000 cash ban. If the MP/Senator supports it, I’ll vote against you. Do not take away my right to use cash and force me to use a bank.”

That’s all you need to say, but be firm. If you want to say more, here are some arguments:

  • It won’t stop crime—criminals won’t care if it’s illegal to use more than $10,000 in cash. It will make law-abiding people into criminals.
  • Individuals using cash don’t launder money, banks and casinos do. Look at CBA and Crown Casino for instance. The authorities know banks and casinos launder money, but too often don’t police it. Enforce the existing laws instead of taking away our rights.
  • The 2017 Black Economy Taskforce report blames tax evasion on tradies and hairdressers using cash, but that report was written by KPMG, which is one of the big four global accounting firms that help multinational banks and corporations evade trillions in taxes. That’s the real black economy; crack down on them!
  • European countries like Sweden are almost cashless, but still have black economies. (In fact, earlier this year the Swedish government had to legislate to make banks start issuing more cash, because the lack of cash was getting ridiculous, especially during power failures.)
  • It will force us to give the private banks a cut of every transaction. While it’s illegal to avoid the GST, it’s not illegal to avoid paying charges to the banks, but a cash ban forces people to use banks and pay their fees.
  • We have a right to privacy—what we do with our money is nobody’s business. But without cash the banks know everything we spend our money on. While we may not always care, sometimes we will, and that’s our business, not the bank’s, and not the government’s.
  • It traps us in banks so we can’t escape policies like negative interest rates and bail-in. The IMF is pushing for cash restrictions as necessary to make negative interest rates work.The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has foreshadowed negative interest rates, and acknowledge that it would require cash restrictions to make them work. Australia too: the Reserve Bank of Australia has said it’s prepared to go to negative interest rates, and the 2017 Black Economy Taskforce report that recommended this cash ban cited the IMF’s view that restricting cash would benefit a negative interest rate monetary policy.
  • Parliament could be responsible for triggering a run on the banks. If we are forced to use Australia’s private banks, which have a bad reputation, many people will try to pull their money out before the law comes into force. Instead of forcing us to use banks against our will, do your job and reform them, starting with a Glass-Steagall separation of deposit-taking banks from speculation, so Australians can have confidence in banks again.

Show them you’re serious—start calling MPs today!

MPs and Senators contact details

Click here for the contact details of Anthony Albanese and the Labor and crossbench MPs and Senators. Call Albanese’s office, and then find your state on the list to call your local Labor MP, if you have one, and your Labor and crossbench Senators.

If you have a coalition MP, and want to also call government Senators, click here for their details.

Click here for a free copy of the latest issue of the Australian Alert Service.

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