Today in the Republic of Ireland, consumers in shops and pubs will have their change rounded to the nearest five cents.
The plans are thought to be the first steps towards an abolition of the one and two eurocent coins, after a trial in Wexford found that 85 per cent of consumers and 100 per cent of retailers wanted to see rounding rolled out nationally.
Ronnie O’Toole of the Central Bank of Ireland said:
The reaction so far to rounding has been fantastic. As a country, we are good at making changes like this.
We migrated to the euro ahead of most other countries, and the indications are that consumers and retailers alike will embrace rounding.
According to the Royal Mint, the UK had 11.278 billion pennies in circulation in 2014 and 6.6 billion two pence coins in 2013, amounting to roughly £245 million of these coins.
Fun fact: One penny and two pence coins are legal tender only up to the sum of 20p, meaning payment for any item above 20p can be refused on these grounds.
The Evening Standard’s Nick Goodway argued that our coppers are likely to cost more to make than they are worth, citing the cost of the Irish euro cent at 1.65 cents per cent.
So come on Chancellor, with your other title of Master of the Mint, let’s get rid of those coppers.
Besides, when was the last time you paid for something with coppers?