In an effort to “combat tax evasion” (or at least that is the excuse being used), Greek banks are proposing a series of measures to strengthen electronic transactions and eliminate the use of cash in the economy.
One of the measures being floated around by the ruling banker class is a special tax on bank cash and ATM withdrawals…a proposal which will be fully embraced by the beaten down Greek public who have been stripped
Keep Talking Greece explains…
Bankers reportedly stress that cash money can easily and largely be channeled in the black economy. Therefore, a tax on cash withdrawals will drastically reduce cash transactions and by extension the black economy.
The bankers suggest that also credit and debit cards as wells as new technologies enabling contact-less transactions even for small amounts and mobile phones can be used for the purchase of a transport ticket or a newspaper at the kiosk.
The bankers propose to the government, among others:
-Mandatory use of cards or other electronic payment networks for every transaction with professions where there is strong evidence of tax evasion or where cash is mainly used [ like bakeries, kiosks, street vendors and chestnut sellers?].
-Mandatory use of cards or electronic networks for transactions above a certain amount [this measure is already in effect].
–Reforming the tax system by introducing a revenue-expenditure system. Households or professionals will only be taxed on the amount of income that is has not been spent. In this way, households and professionals will have a strong incentive to seek receipts for any expenditure in order to increase their expenditure and reduce the tax amount they will have to pay.
-Obligation for all businesses and regardless of their size to pay electronically every salary and wage. (source: Kathimerini via Liberal.gr)
I cannot say who came with this revolutionary idea, some genius young academics or the Greek bankers themselves, those over 6o who have their secretaries or their kids doing their transactions for them using their own iphones and ipads.
I have no idea whether they have asked the country’s creditors to reform the tax system in a cash-less more-incentives Greek world, where households will be obliged to use revenue-expenditure books.
I absolutely do not understand how can one sleek and glossy group of bankers propose such measures and rule the economic system of a country where some 30% of population lives or is at risk of poverty, the welfare system has collapsed and thousands of families live on the 20- or 50-euro banknote a relative or a friend secretly stick in their pockets so that they buy some food, medicine or pay a small bill.
Not to mention those over 60 with minimum knowledge of electronic devices and applications and those over 80 who cannot even use a mobile phone.
Tax cash withdraws will of course give “capital controls” a new dimension.
I suppose the whole proposal has been drafted by a group of some academic professionals stuck in a huge bubble- Prove me wrong!