Recently the government have announced ammendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bil that prohibits scrapyards from paying cash for scrap metal.
Sadly, the price of scrap metal and the rampant thefts from BT, the railways and churches means that such a move is inevitable. The reason is simple: the price thieves get for the scrap is low, whilst the cost of replacement is very high.
So it was with frank surprise that a friend told me that gypsies can still get paid in cash.
This sounded ridiculous, so I downloaded the relevant amendment from the Government's website. Take a look at section 147, clause 2.6:
Subsection (1) does not apply if—
(a) the payment is made in the carrying on of the dealer’s business
as a scrap metal dealer as part of the business of an itinerant
collector, and ...
where Subsection 1 is the new amendment stating that payment has to be by cheque or through an electronic fund transfer. My reading of this and the other clauses is that 'itinerant collectors' are exempt from the new law, and can still be paid cash. Certainly that is the understanding of at least one scrap metal dealer.
So my question is simple: what are 'itinerant collectors', and why are they excluded from the amendment?
The first answer is obvious: tinkers and gypsies. The second is answer is, according to rumour, that such people do not traditionally have bank accounts.
It must be very hard to do business nowadays without even a rudimentary bank account.
The law should be the same for everyone. This law is just a farce.