CASH GRAB: Inactive bank accounts to be seized … The government will from May 31 be able to transfer all money from accounts that have not been used for three years into their own revenues. Households face losing up to $109 million from their family savings as the Federal government moves to seize cash from inactive bank accounts. After legislation was rushed through parliament, the government will from May 31 be able to transfer all money from accounts that have not been used for three years into their own revenues … The law is forecast to raise $109 million this year as inactive accounts for three years or more are raided by Treasury. The money can be reclaimed from ASIC but the process can take months. – Herald Sun
Dominant Social Theme: Citizens don't need all that nasty cash. Besides, we'll take care of them. When you've got a government, you've got a family.
Free-Market Analysis: If you have a bank account in Australia that you don't "use" for three years, the Australian government is now legally empowered to confiscate your money.
We had to read this article several times and we're still having trouble taking it in. We checked and it's received wide play on the Internet, especially in the alternative media.
We're not quite sure what's going on with the Australian government these days. Australia now has a carbon tax – the first in the West – along with strict gun control laws and other fedgov restrictions that increasingly make Australia sound like a country that has an increasingly out-of-control government.
We've met Australians and they are hardy, tough people, descendents of criminals sent over to that vast land from Britain. But for some reason, they put up with an authoritarian government passing Draconian legislation.
There really is no excuse for this kind of legislation, though in fact it is not entirely without precedent as Australia had a previous law that allowed for bank accounts to remain inactive for up to seven years before money was removed.
The law will surely be an impediment to saving and beyond that it is an indication of a dysfunctional legislative process. Something has gone profoundly wrong in Australia and this law is merely a symptom of a deeper rot. See here:
Australian Bankers Association chief executive Steven Munchenberg said there is no benefit for consumers from the changes. It is very hard to see why this needed to be rushed through but there have been suggestions it was done more for the government's own financial circumstances rather than customers needs," he said.
Mr Munchenberg warned that unaware customers face having accounts frozen and could face months of delays trying to reclaim their own money from ASIC. This cash grab comes as economists warn the government is on track to hand down a $15 billion budget deficit in May as company tax receipts collapse.
Okay, we are led to believe that the law is to be seen as a revenue-raiser. But is this really a credible and appropriate way to generate additional funds? To confiscate people's bank accounts?
Here's hoping Aussies show their disdain for this kind of government maneuvering in a vociferous manner – and not just at the ballot box. Take it to the streets.