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Would a 3 or 4 day working week help our society become better


Dax
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Iceland introduced a 4 day working week which mad a big difference in productivity and feel it would work here. I remember when we had a 5 day week and everything shut Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. In my eyes except for the corner shop, hospitality, sport and entertainment, it would relieve a lot of stress on people.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-06/iceland-four-day-working-week-trial-success-report-finds/100270388

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I think reducing work hours is good.   "Official" working hours have decreased form the 48 hour week to 44 hours to 38 and 35 hours in some jobs.       It doesn't necessarily equate to businesses being closed more.   It could mean more people working in a business but for shorter hours.   Many years ago you would work your Monday to Friday and on the weekend shops were closed.  This means if you wanted to do some projects around the house there was nowhere to purchase materials.  I remember when hardware shops were only open on the weekend on a Saturday morning. 

 

I do think it should be a choice where possible. In some occupations some people may be passionate about what they do.  An athlete will still train every day and a musician will still practice every day etc.

 

What I would like to see is flexibility and for workers who choose shorter hours to be given the rights and protections.

 

 

 

 

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44 hours !.

8 am to 5 pm. 5, & a half day week. That was the standard. ( 9 hour with an hour off for lunch  makes that 44 hour week )

Now most are trying to get 5 days & 5 hours 

.

NO to the question! .

Stay home and self isolate.

Don,t bring those sniffles to your work place.

Think of your associates. So one person per day and don,t shake hands, while passing each other. LoL

what is ' work ' lv,e  forgotten, it,s been that long !, l stopped to watch others doing something.

spacesailor

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So, decrease the hrs worked to say 4 per day, also decrese the wages to suit the hrs ,this will never happen but the employer is expected to pick up the tab? sorry work 38 hrs get paid for same hrs yes not the other way around( i had my own business for years and the increasing costs associated with employees gets higher and higher but the profits gets lower 

 

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15 minutes ago, gareth lacey said:

So, decrease the hrs worked to say 4 per day, also decrese the wages to suit the hrs ,this will never happen but the employer is expected to pick up the tab? sorry work 38 hrs get paid for same hrs yes not the other way around( i had my own business for years and the increasing costs associated with employees gets higher and higher but the profits gets lower 

 

 

I believe that in countries where this has been trialed they found that shorter hours produced more productivity.   Simply being at work does not ensure that you are being productive.  This may be more suited to some areas rather than others.

 

Fewer hours, same pay: NZ company’s four-day workweek trial a success

 

 

Barnes invited academics into the office to observe the trial, to ensure that the reduced hours wouldn’t overburden or over-stress staff. Also, of course, to ensure that it wouldn’t lead to reduced output.

But there was no drop in productivity, despite the loss of a full working day for each full-time staff member.

The researchers saw an increase in staff satisfaction and engagement along with a desire to keep working with the company longer, with no drop in output recorded.

They found stress levers were lowered from 45% to 38% following the trial, while work-life balance had increased from 54% in 2017 to 78%.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, gareth lacey said:

So, decrease the hrs worked to say 4 per day, also decrese the wages to suit the hrs ,this will never happen but the employer is expected to pick up the tab? sorry work 38 hrs get paid for same hrs yes not the other way around( i had my own business for years and the increasing costs associated with employees gets higher and higher but the profits gets lower 

The aim is to not decrease wages, but decrease work hours and where they have done it, productivity has increased. When had my building company, used subbies and employees. Always told my employees as long as the delegated work was done, they could go home or not turn up. But if the build got behind, they would be sacked, the drainers used to come in really early to dig the sewer or septic and have it finished by lunch. This allowed us to lay the pipes, put in the septic, or connect to the sewer in a day. It was the same with the framers they'd be there at dawn, put the frame together by lunch then go home. Then the roofers would come in do the roof as the brickies started and we used to have the houses to lockup within a week or two. Fitting out the interior used to take the longest, but we were able to hand the keys over in 6-8weeks, depending on the type of build. 

 

Of course this approach can only work in certain areas, because governments have allowed the corporate world to destroy many full time jobs and more and more people can only get part time/casual. 

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Many years ago it may have taken, lets say 20 workers a day to build a (insert manufactured product).  Factory owners upgraded there factories so that perhaps it only took 10 workers to produce the "device"   This meant each "device" could be built cheaper.    This windfall could be realized in different ways.     The owner of the factory could maintain the cost of the "product" and make a lager profit ( a win for owner and share holders) or they could reduce the sales price (a win for customer and perhaps owner and shareholder)    or the windfall could go into wage rises for the remaining workers  or it could go to the workers as improved conditions, perhaps shorter hours.  or could also do a little of all of these things.  

 

In the early 80s my wife worked in a bank (which bank - yes that one.) The branch she worked at was not a huge one but nonetheless had around 30 employees.  The bank could only offer customer services between 10 and 3 (or 5 on Friday).  The job still entailed 9 to 5 because there was plenty of counting and balancing the books to be done after closing time.   

This morning at about 7:30 AM  I logged into my bank online.  A term deposit matured at midnight.  With a few keystrokes I sent it of to my super account with a different organization. This required no human input (other than me) but of course the bank still makes a little.  In the past this would have required a drive to the bank and possibly stand in a queue and plenty of paperwork.  

 

It seems reasonable to me to use  the cheaper methods of production to benefit the owner/shareholder the customer and the employee.      

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I worked ' piece work ' my wage depended Not on hours, but productivity.

BUT that employer demanded my Full wekly hours !, sat on arse two hours a day, ( or played cards )

One shift was replace, ( $15,000 pa each  ) at a cost above $ 5 million. I still don,t understand  their maths. ( all assets over $ 5 m had to have the head office Ceo Fly in & sign the cheque )

Ps on the 6th year after installation that automatic ( that machinery never actually worked ) disintegrated.

spacesailor

 

 

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13 hours ago, octave said:

It seems reasonable to me to use  the cheaper methods of production to benefit the owner/shareholder the customer and the employee.

Problem is banks no longer have workers, or even branches any more. There is no incentive to create jobs outside part time casual, it's all about rationalisation and profit growth, when they should be supporting small business which will provide jobs, not just profit growth.

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2 hours ago, Dax said:

Problem is banks no longer have workers, or even branches any more. There is no incentive to create jobs outside part time casual, it's all about rationalisation and profit growth, when they should be supporting small business which will provide jobs, not just profit growth.

Old jobs disappear and new areas of work are created.  This has always been the case.

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2 hours ago, Dax said:

Problem is banks no longer have workers, or even branches any more

 

My nearest branch is about 4km away and I imagine only has a couple employees.   If there was a hunger amongst the public for more face to face banking I suspect there would be a place in the market for a bank that specializes in this.   If there was a branch of my bank literally next door I still would have no interest in visiting in person and waiting in a queue during business hours.    I used to live in the country and my nearest bank was around 90km away, why would I want to drive there.  When I bought my present residence I need bridging finance whist the sale went through, this was done with the bank exclusively by phone and email. From memory it required one face to face at the local bank.

I suspect that if banks open loads of new branches that people would not give up online banking for driving to the local bank and queuing.

 

2 hours ago, Dax said:

There is no incentive to create jobs outside part time casual,

 

I agree that in some industries there are casual jobs with poor conditions.    I do believe we need to ensure that these jobs meet minimum standards.   The whole point of this thread is about if society would be better if we worked fewer hours, this requires things such as job sharing and good quality part time work.    

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41 minutes ago, octave said:

 If there was a hunger amongst the public for more face to face banking I suspect there would be a place in the market for a bank that specializes in this. 

Ever heard of small business, they have to bank their takings and from personal experience, know what a hassle and interruption to business having to travel long distances to do that does and you can't bank cash on the internet.

 

This is one reason why small towns and small business are going down, they have to travel huge distances to do their banking. But banks and urbanites seem to think it's only the conglomerates that count and they have armoured cars picking up their cash takings.

 

For me to bank the takings from the pubs I used to own, consisted or close 100klms round trip for one and over 200klms for the other one. This took me out of the business for hours, having to have extra staff and then paying bank fees when the banks do nothing but rip you off. Plus having to keep safe large amounts of cash for up to a week, is not good for ones stress levels.

 

So much shortsightedness in the world, all most can see is their own image in the mirror in their heads. They never look at the big picture, don't care what happens to the small business people who hire the most staff compared to the corporations who hire less and less and then they moan when small business goes broke.

 

Retail, hospitality would be very hard to do cutting work hours and keeping wages the same, productivity in retail hospitality, doesn't work on productivity, but customer turnover and satisfaction. If Industrial and commercial employees worked shorter hours, same pay and better productivity, that would mean they would spend more money in retail and hospitality businesses. First you'd have to get rid of pokies from hospitality venues and ban gambling advertising, as they destroy communities very fast.

Edited by Dax
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2 minutes ago, Dax said:

Ever heard of small business, they have to bank their takings and from personal experience,

 

Yes I spent my whole working life (except the first 12 years) operating a small business.  The move away from cash was a great improvement certainly in my case.  It does reduce opportunities for black economy money of course.      I know businesses like cafes and restaurants dislike cash.   

 

When was the last time you heard of a bank robbery in this country?   As I said in the early 80s my wife was a bank teller and armed robbery was a real threat and caused much anxiety.

 

I guess I am just lucky that can adapt to change (sometimes with effort) and use make the most of what is available.   I certainly don't want to wind the clock back

 

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, octave said:

 

When was the last time you heard of a bank robbery in this country? 

Today they ram shops and take away the ATM and that is fairly regular across the country, much more regular the  back robberies were.

 

 

48 minutes ago, octave said:

It does reduce opportunities for black economy money of course.      I know businesses like cafes and restaurants dislike cash.   

 

I always get a laugh out of the claim the supposed black/cash economy is bad. People who use cash to buy and do business deals, except for the drug trade, go and spend that money almost straight away. They sell things mainly so they can buy something else and that drives the economy, not the other way round. The banks don't want a cash economy, they want total control over everyone's money. 

 

As for cafes and restaurants disliking cash, again from personal experience, when the internet goes down or their terminal fails, they are stuffed. Have seen it so often, businesses bragging about how they won't accept cash, but when they have no way of collecting money, they lose heaps and it's happening more and more.

 

A good friend of mine still owns a pub, he takes cash or cards. But when the internet goes down which is often in today's world, all the new business startups around the area that only take card, have to shut down and their customers come into his pub looking for food and drink. They shocked when they discover they can't buy anything, because they have no cash and there is not way of using their cards. 

 

If you've run a small business, you'd understand the cost of using cards exclusively and my friend gives a discount for cash transactions, because it saves him between 2-5% of his turnover a year to use them and prices have to rise to cater for those costs. It's a small 5 cent discount, but it works as most people that come into his business use cash after they see the discount sign. Which explains the cost of cards use is incorporated into the cost of purchases, his business thrives and it's always a pleasure to see all the other hospitality places in the area shut, because they have no card access and no way of handling cash. You can't put money into a serving tablet, and when the power or internet service goes down, you can do nothing with your bit of plastic.

 

I'm all for and love new tehcnology and embrace it in my life, my home is state of the art technologically. But cash will always be necessary, it's the banks who are driving the push towards a cashless society. They want full control over your money and life, well I like my privacy and that's why I avoid using my card as much as possible and turn my phone off when travelling, only turn in on when I get to my destination. I use my card when shopping at regular businesses, but everything else, cash if possible and have walked out of businesses who won't take cash and don't want to use my card in the area.

 

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I had the ( good ) Fortune of getting fuel, when the Internet was down !. It seems if you haven,t got enough of cash to cover the purchase,  the Laws on your side and will let you off with whatever cash you can give, at least you have contributed something.  ( no sign for cash only )

The alternative is Turn off the pumps.

spacesailor

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1 hour ago, Dax said:

Today they ram shops and take away the ATM and that is fairly regular across the country, much more regular the  back robberies were.

 

 

 

I always get a laugh out of the claim the supposed black/cash economy is bad. People who use cash to buy and do business deals, except for the drug trade, go and spend that money almost straight away. They sell things mainly so they can buy something else and that drives the economy, not the other way round. The banks don't want a cash economy, they want total control over everyone's money. 

 

As for cafes and restaurants disliking cash, again from personal experience, when the internet goes down or their terminal fails, they are stuffed. Have seen it so often, businesses bragging about how they won't accept cash, but when they have no way of collecting money, they lose heaps and it's happening more and more.

 

A good friend of mine still owns a pub, he takes cash or cards. But when the internet goes down which is often in today's world, all the new business startups around the area that only take card, have to shut down and their customers come into his pub looking for food and drink. They shocked when they discover they can't buy anything, because they have no cash and there is not way of using their cards. 

 

If you've run a small business, you'd understand the cost of using cards exclusively and my friend gives a discount for cash transactions, because it saves him between 2-5% of his turnover a year to use them and prices have to rise to cater for those costs. It's a small 5 cent discount, but it works as most people that come into his business use cash after they see the discount sign. Which explains the cost of cards use is incorporated into the cost of purchases, his business thrives and it's always a pleasure to see all the other hospitality places in the area shut, because they have no card access and no way of handling cash. You can't put money into a serving tablet, and when the power or internet service goes down, you can do nothing with your bit of plastic.

 

I'm all for and love new tehcnology and embrace it in my life, my home is state of the art technologically. But cash will always be necessary, it's the banks who are driving the push towards a cashless society. They want full control over your money and life, well I like my privacy and that's why I avoid using my card as much as possible and turn my phone off when travelling, only turn in on when I get to my destination. I use my card when shopping at regular businesses, but everything else, cash if possible and have walked out of businesses who won't take cash and don't want to use my card in the area.

 

The so called black economy has to run, it all goes back into the cash flow of the countries,Im with you Dax, if they wont accept cash i will go elsewhere, the banks are taking the atms out in most small shopping areas, they cannot scam money if there is no charge, I still do the odd supervision project for a couple of companies and they pay me in cash, guess what i spend that on, aircraft supplies and parts for my build so it goes back into circulation, stop cash ,it will never happen in the remaining years i have left, and no i am not on a pension i am self funded.

 

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The thing is about the cash economy, the Govt gets 10% in GST the instant you spend it. And when I ran a secondhand machinery business, the Govt immediately got a huge tax gain, when they introduced GST, on a proportion of my items that I sold to people who weren't in business, and who couldn't claim the GST back. I don't have a problem with the "black" cash economy.

 

The old man had an accountant many many years ago, who was an ex-Tax Dept investigator. He said this to him, one time. "Dave, the Tax Dept knows everyone gets away with a bit of unreported cash income. They don't care about chasing it, it costs them too much to find it. But if you make it obvious you're out to rort the system, big-time - they will come after you".

 

I get pissed off at being charged GST on small purchases from overseas through eBay - yet big companies get away with paying virtually no tax through "structured arrangements". In other word, they rort the system legally.

 

https://www.michaelwest.com.au/nissan-motor-co-australia-pty-ltd/

 

Edited by onetrack
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4 hours ago, Dax said:

Today they ram shops and take away the ATM and that is fairly regular across the country, much more regular the  back robberies were.

I think you missed my point or perhaps I am explaining it poorly.  I am not saying look how good it is banks aren't being  robbed of course they are mostly by white collar crims and hackers.  What I am saying is that a bank teller is unlikely to have a gun shoved in their face or be killed injured or traumatized by an armed robber.

 

4 hours ago, Dax said:

always get a laugh out of the claim the supposed black/cash economy is bad. People who use cash to buy and do business deals, except for the drug trade, go and spend that money almost straight away. They sell things mainly so they can buy something else and that drives the economy, not the other way round. The banks don't want a cash economy, they want total control over everyone's money

 

Yep black economy money does move around the economy, so does a politicians golden handshake but I imagine we think they should pay tax on it.

The banks don't want a cash economy, probably not but what they and tax departments really are shit scared about are the cryptocurrencies.

21 minutes ago, onetrack said:

The thing is about the cash economy, the Govt gets 10% in GST the instant you spend it. And when I ran a secondhand machinery business, the Govt immediately got a huge tax gain, when they introduced GST, on a proportion of my items that I sold to people who weren't in business, and who couldn't claim the GST back. I don't have a problem with the "black" cash economy.

If you are a PAYE earner you may be a little annoyed that you pay income tax and others are avoiding it. Don't get me wrong I am not highly moralistic about this.  I had an air-conditioned installed. one quote was much less but needed to be paid in cash. The legit guy lost out on that job. The notion that black economy money stipulates the economy is true but any money flowing through the economy does.   CEO gets a million dollar bonus? who cares it goes around the economy, drug money? the crims still spend the profits.

 

2 hours ago, gareth lacey said:

stop cash ,it will never happen in the remaining years i have left, and no i am not on a pension i am self funded.

 

 

What do you estimate your remaining years to be? Not too short I hope!  I visit NZ regularly and I notice cash is used much less than here.    I really don't care whether people continue using cash or not or whether they do their banking face to face or not that is up to the individual.      Some banks can be quite accommodating, my elderly and frail  mother was able to keep her passbook even after the bank stopped using them.   She finally realized that she did not have to pay for a taxi to go to the bank and she has adopted more modern methods.       I doubt that cash will suddenly disappear whilst enough people still use it.   It will probably be a generational change.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, octave said:

What I am saying is that a bank teller is unlikely to have a gun shoved in their face or be killed injured or traumatized by an armed robber.

Today it's bottle shops and chemists that get that treatment. Banks only kept small amounts in their branches, if you want over a certain amount, they have it brought to the bank the day you want to withdraw it.

 

1 hour ago, octave said:

The banks don't want a cash economy, probably not but what they and tax departments really are shit scared about are the cryptocurrencies.

Turn the power off and no crypto currency, or cloud. It's the same as major banks, turn the power off and they go down the drain. They create money when they need to, just the same as governments and it's all just on paper, their reserves are in their customers debts. So the banks create money and governments print money when they need to and the supposed money they say they borrow to build things, where does it come from.

 

Who has enough money to keep lending governments around the world billions daily and all are in deep debt. But they still say they borrowed money for such and such a project. How could any lending organisation survive when all their customers are deeply in debt and fail to repay loans, they just get deeper in debt. But governments still give a way tens of billions to large profit making corporations every year, for no return to the people or the treasury.

 

1 hour ago, octave said:

I had an air-conditioned installed. one quote was much less but needed to be paid in cash.

Cash always gets you a better deal, there are no hidden charges or collecting of your data to be sold so you can be scammed, ripped off and bombarded with spam.

 

To be perfectly honest, don't think there's any way you can cut work times across a society and keep wages the same. Other than creating a 3 day weekend, which would get it closer to the bureaucrats who have an 8 day weekend. Theoretically, with the tehcnology and automation we've got, it should be compulsory for people to only work 3 days a week with livable wages, across society.

 

You'd have to control conglomerates that take over entire markets, as well as wages and prices. Competition is what drives an economy, you can't get that with just a few players the more players, the more competition and benefit to everyone.

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7 minutes ago, Dax said:

Today it's bottle shops and chemists that get that treatment. Banks only kept small amounts in their branches, if you want over a certain amount, they have it brought to the bank the day you want to withdraw it.

Yes bottle shops have always been a target, but the thing is as more people pay with cards these places tend to be holding less cash and therefore less attractive.  Likewise if someone mugged me for my wallet they would be sadly disappointed.

 

10 minutes ago, Dax said:

Turn the power off and no crypto currency, or cloud. It's the same as major banks, turn the power off and they go down the drain.

 

Turn off the power and the banking services become temporarily unavailable available, they do not go down the drain.    Outages happen sometimes.  I was in a Coles once and the power went off and emergency lighting came on.  Shoppers were herded out and the store temporarily closed.   Of course the cashpoints went down but that was the least of their problems. The cash registers were  off as well.    Modern technologies have their pros and cons.   Electricity does become temporarily unavailable sometimes but not many people would want to go back to pre electricity.

 

55 minutes ago, Dax said:

Cash always gets you a better deal, there are no hidden charges or collecting of your data to be sold so you can be scammed, ripped off and bombarded with spam.

 

Never really had this problem, understand terms and conditions and negotiate a price whether it is cash or other means.   I have never been scammed and consider myself to be savvy enough to avoid that.    Never much bothered by scam, I either ignore it or block it.

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Dax said:

Theoretically, with the tehcnology and automation we've got, it should be compulsory for people to only work 3 days a week with livable wages, across society.

 

Definitely against compulsion.  Not even sure how this could work.     Sorry sir you brain tumor operation will have to wait, the leading surgeon in this are has already worked their 3 days this week.    Workers in the mining industry who work in remote areas tend to work several weeks on followed by several weeks off.  A farmer may have periods of intense activity such as during the harvest time.           I am definitely for shorter working hours being available but I don't think they should be mandatory. They should just be made more secure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cash is all but dead.

 

My wife runs a small business (remedial massage), no card machine, her customers mostly do bank transfer.

Anyone with an email address can set up PayPal to go direct to another person.

Kids go to 3 different music lessons, all paid by bank transfer.  About the only time we use cash is for firewood.

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Just now, Marty_d said:

Kids go to 3 different music lessons, all paid by bank transfer. 

 

I just retired (mostly) from teaching music.   Half of my work was at a studio,  this money went straight into my account, easy. Nearly all of my private students paid straight into my bank account.   During covid I taught exclusively online.    I am not sure how this would have worked if I had to rely on cash.  I have taught students in different  locations including interstate and one overseas.   

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8 minutes ago, octave said:

 

I just retired (mostly) from teaching music.   Half of my work was at a studio,  this money went straight into my account, easy. Nearly all of my private students paid straight into my bank account.   During covid I taught exclusively online.    I am not sure how this would have worked if I had to rely on cash.  I have taught students in different  locations including interstate and one overseas.   

Our 3 all do piano (as does my wife), their teacher is a lady in country Victoria.  Teaches through Zoom.  The drums and saxophone that two of them do are local.  We do our bit to support music teachers!  LOL

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I got $100.00 from an ATM about 6 months ago & it is still in my wallet. It is kind of an emergency fund when I may be somewhere that does not have eftpos or credit facilities. I pay by credit card for everything, even a cup of coffee & on line generally via Paypal as it offers the best protection and money back guarantee. The only times I have been into banks in the past 4 or 5 years is to deposit landing fees and cash paid for soft drinks at the aero club. I keep one $2.00 coin in the car to put in the shopping trolley at Aldi. We now have an honesty tab at the Aero club & every couple of months I email members with the total they owe & they do a direct credit.

 

There is still plenty of cash out there though, especially with older people. I see them pull out wads of $50.00 notes to pay for their groceries. The same goes for some tradies who I suspect do a few cash jobs here & there. 

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