I think the best idea (to combat the underground) is government tax credits for work done legally
"Where I live (in B.C.) they are very soon going to implement a system where the building inspector is going to report to the electrical authorities, at the time of the inspection, any electrical work being done."
July 3, 2014 by Steve Payne
Last week we ran a comment from a French contractor, Jean-Claude, who reported on the way France deals with underground contractors. They punish both the contractor AND the homeowner who hired them. And they reward people who rat out underground contractors.
Kit, an electrician in B.C., responded by talking about what is happening with building inspectors reporting all electrical work being done, by anyone, to the electrical authorities, in her jurisdiction.
“I am an electrical contractor in B.C. and I get asked to do cash jobs all the time. I tell all of my customers that they can pay cash to all of their contractors (painters, drywallers, etc.) except their electrician. We are registered with the Safety Authorities and have $10,000 licensing bonds payable to them, as well as S/A permits. Insurance companies don’t sue drywallers or painters for the work they did. The idea from France that you published reminds me of what life in Albania must have been like under their dictator. Everybody spying on everybody else. And why should someone get a kickback from the government for reporting a cash contractor (or a contractor that just cut you off on the freeway)? The person who reports you could be the customer that had the work done. Always a sting operation somewhere. And if you are going to do a cash job it had better be for a good price, because the government plays hardball if they catch you.”
“Where I live they are very soon going to implement a system where the building inspector is going to report to the electrical authorities, at the time of the inspection, any electrical work being done. And the same for work being done by a building contractor. I know that this practice is used in many places, but not here yet. It will be interesting. Personally, I am not going to tell the other inspection authorities anything. I think that the best idea is government tax credits for work done legally, like they had a couple of years ago. Sure, the government has to set up the department, but it is a win-win situation for everyone. Ahhh– the joys of being self-employed contractor.”