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THE CASH ECONOMY

On a single page, The Sunday Business Post manages to answer the question posed in its own headline: Has cash lost its lustre? The answer is clear – NO!

Separate research by RaboDirect and Aviva seems to show Irish people are a little less risk-averse than previously and are prepared to dig under their mattresses to put it into shares instead. Fund managers warn cash is not the safe haven it appears to be, with inflation and lower deposit rates eroding – or at least failing to maximise – its potential value.

However, across the page, the newspaper reports on a survey that appears to show the real value of having that cash under the mattress – and it is something the government must tackle.

The survey of 6,400 tradespeople and builders by onlinetradesman.ie found “some 84% said there was an increased demand from property owners for ‘nixers’ and ‘cash-only’ prices”.

The survey says more than 10% of respondents believed they would go out of business this year amid the inexorable rise of the shadow economy.

“Registered trade professionals with overheads such as insurance and taxes are struggling to compete with non-compliant operators,” said Ted Laverty, the site’s managing director.

The cash economy is clearly flourishing.

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