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Can printing your own cash actually help revive a struggling economy? That's just what traders in one London shopping district are hoping for, as they begin accepting a new local currency.
Short on cash? Then why not make your own. There's no law against it, so long as you don't try to pass it off as sterling.
And you can use whatever you please to make your money, whether cigarettes, rabbit skins or paper notes.
That's what's happening in Brixton, a south London neighbourhood where shoppers, from Thursday, will be able to hand over 10 Brixton Pounds (B£s) in return for their groceries.
Currently, 6,000 Totnes pounds are in circulation from an estimated local economy of £60m.
It is, stresses Mr Brangwyn, a radical experiment, still in its very early stages, but he can see a day when England has 2,000 local currencies.
Other towns joining the experiment, started by environmental group Transition Network, are Lewes in East Sussex and Stroud in Gloucestershire which introduced the Stroud Pound this week.
"We are in London, the financial hub of the world, and are trying to do something that goes against the grain of the big banking system that we are living on the edge of."
He is also optimistic the recession can work in its favour.
That's the view of Susan Witts who co-founded the BerkShare, a local currency launched in 2006 in Berkshire, Massachusetts.
She puts the growth of BerkShares (from 1 million to 2.5 million in three years) down, in part, to the recession and a lot of hard work.
All businesses have to report all turnover and as every local currency is tacked to sterling, every sale, whether paid for in cream cakes, polar bears or carrots must be reported to its sterling value, the HM Revenue and Customs says.
And if you are not running a business, the HMRC has no interest because where there's no profit motive, there's no taxation consequence. The Treasury, meanwhile, views them as little more than gift vouchers.
Originally posted by burdman30ott6
Good idea, but I wonder how the government will valuate the money for taxation purposes. Technically speaking, the instant they assign a taxable value to these local currencies they essentially ratify it's value as an equity. You just know that our mutual enemy in Washington won't just sit back and allow people to circumvent the system our bankster overlords have laid upon us without claiming a sizeable piece of the pie.
Originally posted by rogerstigers
Well, all up to the point where they tied it to the Sterling, it was looking like a voucher based barter system. One they tied it to the sterling, it became another fiat system. *shrug* still a good idea, I guess.