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Anorak | The cashless scrap metal market – government bans recycling iron and steel

The cashless scrap metal market – government bans recycling iron and steel

by | 25th, January 2012

THE scrap metal is cashless. Yes, there has been a rising problem with the theft of scrap metal, yes, banning people paying cash for it will help, at least at the margins .

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will ban cash transactions and and introduce unlimited fines for people caught trading stolen scrap metal.

Ministers have agreed to act after public outrage at the activities of criminals who have pillaged churches, stripped war memorials, stolen valuable sculptures, plunged villages into darkness and wrought havoc on the rail industry.

Metal theft is estimated to cost the country £1 billion a year, with more than 1,000 offences taking place every week.

However, it’s worth recalling the most basic point that economics has to teach us. Which is that there is no such thing as a solution: there are only trade offs.

And here the trade off is that yes, there will be some reduction in thefts (not a complete reduction, as some thieves will get organised and start shipping scrap to foreign dealers), but there will also be a drop in legitimate

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Posted: 25th, January 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink