The retail trade rebels against the limit of 1,000 euros for the payment of purchases in cash, approved yesterday by the Congress of Deputies and which is included within the law against tax fraud. “It has been found that the use of cash payment methods in economic operations facilitates fraudulent behavior. With the limitation of the cash, the traceability and the possibility of tracing the operations will be facilitated and it will be difficult to incur in fraudulent practices “, defends the Executive.
However, some of the main retail trade associations have raised their voices against the measure. Anged, an association that brings together large stores, including El Corte Inglés; Acotex, employer of the textile trade; CEC, the representatives of small businesses; and the Spanish Federation of Home Appliance Merchants (FECE), have jointly expressed their opposition at a time, they defend, in which consumption in shops is still far from recovering.
“Nor we understand that at a time when we need to boost consumption and economic activity to recover from the pandemic, measures are adopted that clearly do not favor consumption. Barriers and sticks are put in the wheels in this recovery “, explained the general director of Anged, Javier Millán Astray. The associations defend that this limitation to cash is an obstacle to consumption. They cite a study by the European Central Bank published in December of last year that figures at 83% the number of payments made in cash at physical points of sale, being the second country in the eurozone with the highest percentage only surpassed by Malta (88%) and tied with Cyprus. The same report figures the volume represented by this payment method at 66%, and this same study explains that the average amount per cash transaction in Spain is 14.5 euros.
“We cannot force people to have a credit card. In this way, private means are favored, with costs for the consumer. To solve tax fraud and the underground economy that go to the origin and not to final consumption,” he said. Carlos Moreno-Figueroa, CEC spokesperson and FECE secretary general. This has estimated at a third the operations for the purchase of household appliances that are made in cash of the total.
The president of the textile trade association, Eduardo Zamácola, has mentioned the case of France, the only country in the community that has also limited cash payments to 1,000 euros, explaining that “it has not stopped tax fraud.” He also recalled that others, such as Italy, reversed similar measures due to their lack of effectiveness. “We are outraged. We do not understand anything, because before the vote the talks with all the parliamentary groups were very positive,” he said. Moreno-Figueroa, spokesperson for CEC and FECE, has gone a little further: “Members of the different parties who have voted in favor tell us privately that the measure does not make any sense and that it will not meet its objectives. We understand that it is an ideological question. “
The spokespersons of the different employers have explained that the recovery of consumption during this year will go hand in hand with the success of the vaccination campaign and also with a return of part of the lost international tourism. Acotex spokesman Eduardo Zamácola has said that although in recent days there has been a certain improvement in traffic in stores due to the end of the restrictions, the summer campaign “is lost” for the textile trade.
“Everything depends on vaccination. We have said that it would be advisable, in addition to having more vaccines, to accelerate the pace and that is why we have offered the help of mutuals and companies that have medical professionals to do so”; said the CEO of Anged, Javier Millán Astray. Today it has been known that El Corte Inglés will begin to vaccinate its employees in the Valencian Community in June after receiving the approval of the Generalitat.