The Australian Senate economics committee is currently considering final submissions for a bill that would outlaw cash payments between individuals and businesses of more than $10,000. It has already passed in the House of Representatives last month and the Senate committee will make a final decision about the bill on February 7th.
In advance of the decision the funeral segment is already preemptively requesting to be excluded from the bill. The Australian Funeral Directors Association sent answers to questions from the Senate economics committee reviewing the laws this week, claiming some funeral directors receive up to 20% of their payments for funerals in cash. With specifically 6% of $10,000+ funerals being paid in cash. Mainly affecting Christian Orthodox, European Catholic, Buddhist and Catholic communities according to Andrew Pinder, The Australian Funeral Directors Association President.
The federal government is promoting the new rules as an important way to curb lost revenue, as well as target crooked businesses and organised crime. On the flipside of the discussion, Pinder says “Grieving people are at the lowest points of their lives. They often feel helpless, emotionally wounded or numb. A funeral director’s role is to say ‘yes’ to requests rather than ‘no’.”
Local managing director, Greg Inglis, at Picaluna Funerals said he did not believe the funeral industry would be significantly affected by the rules. With only two out of their 470 funerals costing more than $10,000.