The cashless society

The cashless society
Why they want it. How they'll get it.

This is a short series on the cashless society, why the government want you to do away with cash and how they will achieve this.

Why they want it.

Part 1.

The government wants your money. They took 529 billion pounds in tax in the 2011 financial year. This was 36% of Gross Domestic Product.

And what do we get in return? Membership of the European Union, Foreign wars, a generation of people living on benefits, uncontrolled immigration, seven million public sector workers and many more whims and hobby horses of our governing elite.

Oh, and 'essential' public services.

The government needs ever more of your money to continue their waste. They say we have a moral obligation to pay taxes. I think the opposite is true.

They are also looking for ever more ingenious ways to take more tax from us. The best possible way for them to do this is to have us all move away from the use of cash and start to move our money through the use of electronic transactions.

Why? Because they can be monitored, and even better, tax can be taken at source.

If you are not self employed, when was the last time you had the opportunity to hold your money in your hand before you gave it to the government as tax? Probably never. Tax is taken from our wages at source in the form of PAYE - Pay As You Earn.

We don't even get to touch it before they take it from us.

What would compliment PAYE very well is the concept of Pay As You Spend. Many businesses still operate largely with cash, restaurants, bars and hairdressers for example. Most personal transactions between friends and acquaintances are also done with cash.

When you hand over a couple of quid (or more) for a pint of beer, the government then has to rely on the bar where you spent your money, to declare that taking and pay some of it to them in tax.

Would it not be better if the tax element could be deducted electronically at the moment you pay? Of course it would. Any payment through electronic means, cash / credit card, is logged so that the Inland Revenue know about it and know how much tax is owed. This is not the case with cash. Cash transactions are untraceable.

Imagine a cash card system where 25% is deducted from every transaction and passed directly to HMRC. Total tax compliance. Once cash is removed from society and all transactions are electronic, even those among friends can be taxed at source.

If I were to fix your car for you and you gave me twenty quid, in the cashless society, I would have to produce my card reader and you would have to produce your card. Once the transaction was complete, only fifteen pounds would make it into my bank account, the other fiver would go directly to the government, just like PAYE.

Even if they don't go as far as deducting tax at source, which I doubt, every transaction will be logged in a computer somewhere. The government will be aware of every penny that has moved from person to person.

All electronic transactions are currently logged in computers by banks and the government has access to all this information if they want it. Further than that, all cash movements over one thousand pounds must be reported to the Inland Revenue. The penalties for not doing so are harsh. These penalties are not levied at the banking corporations, but the individual who was responsible for reporting the transaction.

This system has bank employees scrambling over themselves in their haste to report you to the government.

The smokescreen is drugs and money laundering, the reality is that 99.99% of these transactions are perfectly legitimate.

There is nothing more a government wants than total tax compliance. Once they have convinced us that cash is no longer valid in a civilised society, they will get just that.

Next week: Control of your movements.
How the government can monitor and even control all your movements through electronic money transactions.


Budvar said...

I think the main problem with the implementation of this is when (not if) the arse falls out of national currencies.
Be it hyperinflation or bank failures, you think people will trust banks with 100% of their cash? Not bleedin likely.
There's also a little thing called shall we say "Vices". Hands up all those who would have no objection to the "Barclaycard statement showing £x paid to "Madam Silvias sniffing coke off the buttocks of small boys emporium"? You get my drift.

I don't think people will go along with this as easy as they think they will. Tokens of whatever kind will spring up in lieu to camouflage said payments.

James Higham said...

If you are not self employed, when was the last time you had the opportunity to hold your money in your hand before you gave it to the government as tax?

True but I do have it in my hand because I refuse to go the cashless way. Everything is cash in hand.

Bucko The Moose said...

Budvar - I think the government will use bank troubles and economic failiures as part of their arsenal.
They will convince the drones that electronic has the means to keep the banks in check and will also eliminate tax 'avoidance' and help the economy.
It will all be bollocks but when has that ever mattered?

As to the little vices, other currencies will always pop up as we go further cashless, people will make their own. It will become exceedingly difficult to do so though, and most people will just accept the change rather than make the effort.
The government will also use 'vices' to their advantage.
If they say, "The only people who still use cash are druggies and perverts", do you not think the drones will DEMAND the final transition to the cashless society?

Bucko The Moose said...

James - I tried to get my employers to pay me cash, they said no. I tried to get them to make me self employed so I pay my own tax, they said no.

When I say employers I mean all of them, bar a couple of pubs.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I hate PAYE. and of course nothing can go wrong.
I recived a coding notice on Jan 4th that I was now 0T back dated to the start of the tax year. I immediately challenged this as I have not suddenly become a millionaire or an MP.
HMRC :"Oh yes there appears to have been an error, your tax code should remain 571L we'll send out a new notice."
ME: "Who made the mistake"
HMRC: "I'm afraid it's impossible to tell "

However the correction did not reach my company who blindly applied 0T to this months wages without asking any questions or calling me. the computer took all the years supposed underpaid tax in one lump leaving me with £200 for February.

Pavlov's Cat said...
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Pavlov's Cat said...
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Bucko The Moose said...

Pavlovs Cat - That's one of the many issues with electronic transactions done by computers.
Computers don't make errors, they do exactly what the operator tells them to do.
However, everyone believes the computer, even when an obvious error has been made.
I bet it takes a while for yours to be sorted out, too.
If you had the cash before paying tax, you could have withheld it from HMRC until they sorted the problem.
The money is better in your account that thiers, but that's probably what they think too.

Anonymous said...

I think the main problem with the implementation of this is when (not if) the arse falls out of national currencies.
Be it hyperinflation or bank failures, you think people will trust banks with 100% of their cash?

Umm, if that happens then cash becomes worthless anyway. Barter will happen. You can pay for the mechanic's shopping with your electronic money spender or something.

Anonymous said...

Cashless society enables the gov to ration cigarettes, boze, salt, sugar and anything else it feels like. Once your allocated amounts have been used up in any one month, paymnets will not be authorised or different rates of tax (higher, obviously) will apply.

Bucko The Moose said...

Anon 1 - I think that if it did come down to a collapse of currency, the government would step in with a flawless electronic system to take over.
The drones would be begging for it anyway

Bucko The Moose said...

Anon 2 - It does indeed. If they get control over your payment method (which is the endgame) they can also control what you buy.

Dan H. said...

The main problem with an entirely electronic system is not how it would work, but how it would fail. Purely electronic cash falls over on its arse if any one of the enabling systems isn't present, so it would require internet links to be up, servers to be working, and electrical power to be steady, constant and not interrupted. In a country where the electrical grid is being supplied by coal-fired and nuclear generation, this isn't a problem. When you are using intermittent, unreliable wind generation, you are setting yourself up for a bigtime fail.

The other main problem with this is that Government computerisation projects in Britain have customarily been characterised by usefulness levels on the chocolate teapot scale, and reliability levels ranging from "bugger all" right down to "actively harmful", with a tiny and insignificant minority actually being useful and usable.

Given that this is the case, electronic money as administered by the UK government would be welcomed with open arms by every script-kiddie, fraudster, con-artist and malicious foreign government in the entire world as a way to plunder, loot, disrupt and cripple the UK in short order.

Bucko The Moose said...

Dan - You're quite right about wind generation and the governments abilities with IT projects, however, the government would be the last people to admit to any of this. They would continue on with total conversion to electronic payments with their heads in the sand.

You're also right about electronic things not working. Gadgets fail all the time, hundreds of daily inconveniences are caused by computer and microchip malfunctions, but what do we do about it? We grudgingly accept it.

In the future, if you try to buy something and the card terminal is down, you won't get your item and the shop won't get a sale, but everyone will be so conditioned to accept this that no one will demand a return to cash.