Maybe, but an opportunity glimmers in the cloud of a crisis in which fiat money\’s goose is slowly but surely being cooked. If we got ahead of the game and abolished cash, we could tax every payment, from whatever source, on its way into a bank account. The taxman could apply allowances, and even boost them with the deluge of cash, but then challenge anyone wanting a rebate to come forward and make their case – and with a straight face.
The idea that the taxman, even the super taxmen of PCS, could accurately tax every single money transfer in a modern economy is so ludicrous as to be entirely phantastical. For example, there are some 3 billion LINK transactions a year. CHAPs processes, I think, £80 trillion a year, something like that (these two are cumulative, one does not include the other I don\’t think).
The basic suggestion is just farcical idiocy.
This is quite apart from the appalling civil liberties implications of course, that everything belongs to the government and we only get to have our pocket money.
Actually, in one way this is quite impressive. They\’ve managed to come up with something even more bleedin\’ stupid than a Ritchie suggestion. Which was, you might recall, that every wage payment transaction should be made through HMRC. That, at least, didn\’t try to have HMRC looking at every £3 card transaction for a bacon buttie.
I fear that our historian, Mr. Chakrabortty, has been trying to write about the economy again.