New regulations to the scrap metal industry mean that as of the 3rd of December, Scrap metal collectors and traders will have to be paid by a cheque or bank transfer to eliminate cash in hand transactions from the scrap industry. With the recent increases in metal theft across the country, the government sees this as a means to reducing metal theft across the country.
These regulations are being placed on a group of hard working individuals who already get relentless checks from the police making sure they have their numerous licenses checked on a regular basis. How can these changes in the scrap industry affect those working in the trade?
Cash in Hand
The scrap trade has been known as a cash in hand business as long as it has been around. Due to the nature of the business, it is the easiest method of payment in the situations encountered by a person working in the scrap industry. When you drop of the precious reclaimed metals, cash has always been the preference. But with these Government changes, things are going to be significantly different in the coming future.
With metal theft on the rise, UK insurers have claimed that this is costing the UK economy over £700,000 annually. It is seen as a serious crime and The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill (2012) is being brought in to replace an earlier bill ratified in 1964. The new reform would require all scrap metal dealers to hold a valid licence and when selling scrap a note of the ID would required to be held for two years after the transaction so any questionable transaction can be investigated by the police. Whilst this reform may be useful for stopping the trade of stolen metals, not everyone is in favour of these changes.
Problems with the Scrap Metal Bill?
Some people in the industry have seen some problems with the bill. Going cashless isn’t a big problem but the infrastructure and reform needs to be in place for it to work effectively and cut out rouge traders and criminals out of the business. People in the scrap industry are already under intense scrutiny from the authorities with regular checks of licences, insurance and tax. Maybe this bill can put an end to the crime in the industry letting the hard working, legitimate tradesmen getting on with their work in peace.