Could the humble penny be ready to die?

4 February 2013


Over the ‘pond’, in Canada, they’re getting ready to say goodbye to an old friend – the penny.

Yes, the Canadian cent (which actually costs 1.6 cent to produce) will no longer be distributed from today, although the coins will remain legal tender for now. The move will apparently save the federal government $11 million a year

But it doesn’t mean that all prices will be fixed in multiples of five cents. It’ll only affect cash transactions, and prices will be rounded up or down accordingly - something costing $1.01 or $1.02 will go down to $1 while a bill of $1.03 or $1.04 would go up to $1.05.

Would it happen here in the UK? Could it? Should it? As we move towards a more cashless society, would you be bothered if all cash transactions were rounded up or down to the nearest 5p? Have a think about it and then, as always write down your carefully chosen thoughts in the space below.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • mark
    Good bye 99p store.
  • DGK
    What would become of the 99p shop? 95p shop? £1.05 shop? Surely they couldn't go for a pound?
  • Meek
    If this happened here, I find it hard to believe anything would be rounded down. It's always going up.
  • Alexis
    Crossed my mind this morning actually when I bought some 99p milk. Why is it 99p? It's not like I'd be in two minds whether to buy it or not - it's not exactly an impulse purchase.
  • OoOoooH Y.
    Seen many 'Everything a Pound' shops actually charge more than £1 for their items. Let them dare take away our penny, there will be riots
  • kcajjones
    Sounds like a great idea, except one major flaw, well, make that TWO major flaws. Visa and Mastercard. The biggest, most evil companies on the planet. What should be happening is we should be making our own company to take on the credit/debit card companies!!!
  • dazza1011
    the reason i was told why things are 99p insted of £1 is to deter theft as you would be inclined to wait for your change so the till would need to be opened when making a cash sale
  • Gary
    Why do we need to go to the nearest 5p when wevstill have the 2p piece!!?
  • Ian
    Dazza - that makes absolutely no sense at all. Care to clarify?
  • firstnameunknown
    Ian it makes complete sense if you realise he's referring to theft by the cashier...
  • Paul
    Penny sweets for free...boss!
  • Colin
    I was always under the impression things were marked as ?.99 so the shops could say 'Under £10, only £9.99) plus people think something is more expnsive when its rounded up, obviously it is but £20 in some minds is worse than £19.99 and going up to the next £ decreases sales, even though its only a penny.
  • Ian
    @firstnameunknown That makes a lot more sense. However, the chances of theft by someone other than the cashier gets more likely, as the till is opened.
  • Me
    I'll piss myself if i'm no longer able to spend a penny!
  • Captain C.
    Isnt this why the Mint switched from cupro-nickle pennies to steel pennies??
  • Fat g.
    But I guess they switched from cupro-nickel to cupro-nickle first?
  • Voice R.
    Didnt I read this on the BBC website last week....? Slow news day?
  • jah128
    Fat checkout girl - what in the fuck?
  • Gill R.
    Wouldn't bother me at all, but charity tins would find less money being put in them.
  • Richard
    It already happens here in Australia - coles/woolies etc all round up or down on a grocery shop to save giving anything less than 10 cents change?
  • Bazinga
    Ditch anything less than a fiver.
  • noshit
    I squeeze all my pennies in to my ass coz I only deal in pounds.
  • Samantha
    With 2p and 5p pieces you could still pay cash for things at any price, it'd just be more complicated. But surely we could just stop minting new coins, while keeping the old ones in circulation, there have to be plenty enough pennies out there by now.

What do you think?

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