Are loose coppers becoming a thing of the past?

child money Loose copper change is a bit of pain mostly, thrown in large bottles and tins all over the house, and painstakingly counted out at counters and the like.

Well, it looks like there's moves to get rid of the smaller coins, kicking off in Ireland with a new scheme. If it is successful, it could be rolled out in Britain too.

So what's going on? Well, the new rule see you having your change rounded up, or down, to the nearest 5 cent. There's a trial going on in Wexford, which follows similar schemes in Holland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Hungary.

Dr Ronnie O’Toole, an economist at Ireland’s Central Bank, said: "Consumers may be surprised at first but, judging from the experience in Wexford, they will embrace rounding very quickly."

Thing is, it costs mints a lot of money to issue the smallest coin denominations, and with the euro, Ireland has spent 37million euro (around £27million) issuing one and two cent coins, since it was introduced. That's three times the rate as the rest of Europe. It is hoped that this new rule will reduce the need to make more, as there's enough in circulation.

Obviously, the coins will still be legal tender, and the changes will only apply to cash transactions. If you're paying for something on a card, or another form of electronic payment, you'll just pay the normal total. It would also only be used on the final cash total of a bill, rather than individual items.

So, if you get a bill for something, and the amount ends in one and two cents or six and seven cents, it'd be rounded down to the nearest five. Those ending in three and four cents or eight and nine cents, would end up being rounded up. Sounds like a good idea, in principal, but the cynic in us makes us think that some businesses might use this as a scam to rinse more money out of customers.

Either way, would you like to see something like this over here?


  • Fagin
    Nothin in the EU is cheaper once you take the many tiers of "elected" thiefdom into consideration. Unification should in theory be cheaper, money printing etc, but no, more expensive to maintain. Any money "saved" will be wanked away wastefully elsewhere, ..simple as that. EU !? ..crap in a very expensive bucket.
  • Grammar N.
    "ARE loose coppers...". Not "IS". Imho.
  • Alexis
    1. Bring in a law that everything must be priced to be divisible by 5. 2. Take 1 and 2p out of circulation
  • Rhi
    Judging by the plastic bag problems it'd go down fine in most of the UK then it'd get to England and it'd be mass panic.
  • Patrick
    My thoughts: 1. Take 1, 2 & 5p out of circulation. 2. Turn 10p and 20p into copper but small circular coins 3. Shrink size of 50p - similar to existing 20p 4. Make £5 a coin This would make coins similar to what their value was when they were first introduced. The 1, 2 and 5p coins are largely pointless these days and it's crazy that they're so large.

What do you think?

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