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The black economy




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We are probably all familiar with the situation. There is a repair job to be done on the house or perhaps on the car, and we know a friend or a friend of a friend who can fix it. Give him what you think it's worth - cash of course - he'll round after work this evening, or at the weekend if it's more convenient. The offer is , and if you accept it you have already become part of the black economy.
The term Black Economy refers to off-the-record business transactions; to the sale of goods and - almost always for cash - without the tax authorities being put in the picture. It is sometimes called .
Studies measuring the size of the black economy suggest that it varies greatly from country to country. Whereas in Britain and the USA it could be worth 1-2 per cent of the Gross Product, in Italy the figure may be as high as 14 per cent.
Although some people that black work enables many unemployed people to stay above the , this argument turns a eye to the fact that most moonlighting is performed by those already in employment. These people work in their time and have no about using the tools, equipment and contacts of their normal jobs.
For the customer who has his car mended or his house repaired by a black worker, the risks are great. He is encouraging tax at best and he may even be an accessory to an outright . Moreover, if he is in any way dissatisfied with the work done, he will find it difficult if not impossible to lodge any against the employee who has been working on the . It may be that what seemed like a at first sight proves to be frighteningly expensive when all the costs have been taken into account.