Bawbees and Merks for Scottish currency?
Holyrood will be considering its currency options before the Scottish referendum, because there’s no way that Westminster are going to let them keep the poond. And now a leading economist has suggested that Scotland should revitalize its ancient coinage and bring back the er... merk.
The merk, which sounds like a term of abuse, was in circulation 400 years ago, and were silver coins that don’t look so different from 20ps. But it’s the lower value old Scots coins that have the best names. If you didn’t have a merk to your name, you had to pay for things using bawbees (LOL), groats, testoons (LOL), and placks (ARF!).
Anyway, economist Professor Gavin McCrone thinks it would be a GROAT IDEA.
‘Sooner rather than later a Scottish government would find it necessary to set up its own central bank as lender of last resort, which would also have power to issue its own currency.' he said.
‘This could be the restoration of the pre-1707 pound Scots, or indeed the merk, and it could be pegged against sterling initially on a one-to-one basis, as Ireland’s currency was for a long time, which would reduce transaction costs.’
Hmm. Personally I think the best idea would be to replace the Queen with a crude picture of Jimmy Krankie wearing a Tunnocks tea cake hat, with the words ‘GEES SUM MONEY’ underneath it. But whatever floats your groat.