Payments of $10,000 cash or more are set to be banned

If the ban passes, transactions over $10,000 will become illegal. Photo: File
If the ban passes, transactions over $10,000 will become illegal. Photo: File

Payments of $10,000 cash or more are set to be banned under controversial new legislation that would see fines of up to $25,500 and two years' jail for any Australian caught spending above the limit.

The proposal came as a result of a report by the Black Economy Taskforce who are adamant it is the best way to combat criminal operations and tax evasion.

However, advocacy groups are worried the ban will do more harm than good and criminalise citizens who still operate under the creed of cash is king.

There is also concern it will limit the ability to pay for large amounts of goods when there is no power, like in the recent fires and floods.

The legislation passed the lower house in October and has been under scrutiny from a Senate committee.

The committee has recommended a raft of changes, including lowering or scrapping fines for one-off breaches, considering the impact on regional areas and during natural disasters, thinking about how it will impact funerals in migrant communities, and giving exemptions for personal transactions.

Labor is expected to back the laws if the changes recommended by the committee are used.

There has been some unrest by backbenchers in both the Government and the opposition about the measures.

Anybody who is concerned about the legislation and how it could affect them is encouraged to write to their Federal Member.

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