Claim; “Average pensioner has $50,000 in cash in dwelling.”
Thugs tend to strike anywhere they think there are easy pickings to be had. Aged pensioners are frequently victims, owing to the belief that they represent fairly soft targets and even when capable of defending themselves, probably can’t run hard enough to catch and detain the perpetrator.
Menzies House has raised the example of a couple in their 70s who were targeted by three dropkicks with knives who threatened them and tore the place apart in search of valuables. MH points out that an increase in these crimes could be due to an irresponsible claim by an ex- official of the Reserve Bank, who claimed that a shortage of $100 notes is due to pensioners hoarding money in their houses.
While no causal link has been established between the two events, it seems that the press were impressed by the sensational nature of the claim and spread it far and wide. It is therefore reasonable to assume that there are quite a few thugs out there with the idea that quick fortunes are available by robbing the aged:
A former Reserve Bank official says the extraordinarily high number of $100 notes in circulation is the result of massive welfare fraud in which undeserving Australians get access to the pension.
Peter Mair has written to Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens outlining his concerns.There are now 10 green $100 notes in circulation for each Australian, more than the seven more-commonly seen orange $20 notes.
One popular explanation is that they are used for illegal transactions as part of the cash economy, something Mr Mair rejects as a ''furphy''. …
… Mr Mair's best guess is the average pensioner couple holds around $50,000 in undeclared $50 and $100 notes in order to access the pension.
Mr Mair does not present any evidence to back his claim, which is entirely based on his possibly blinkered view of reasons for the high number of high denomination notes in circulation. One ATO document suggests that the cash economy at 2% of GDP would have represented $13.4 billion in 2001, but points out that some estimates are in the range of 4.8-8.8% of GDP.
Tradies love it and give a substantial discount if you pay cash and don’t need a receipt.
While it is possible that some pensioners are holding cash to come in under whatever the threshold of the pension is, the vast majority are struggling to make ends meet. Claims that they all have $50,000 + stashed in the mattress are not only wrong, but dangerous and irresponsible.