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Government signals 1p and 2ps coins are here to stay

PUBLISHED: 11:17 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:57 15 March 2018

A jar of coins. Picture: Thinkstock

A jar of coins. Picture: Thinkstock

Archant

The Government has signalled that 1p and 2p coins are unlikely to be scrapped after a consultation on their use concludes in June.

Their future was thrown into doubt after the Treasury used the Spring Statement to launch a review into the denominational mix of coins in the economy.

Referring to the Treasury as HMT, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May told a Westminster briefing: “There are no proposals to scrap one or two pence coins in the consultation that HMT issued yesterday.

“The call for evidence is simply intended to enable the Government to better understand the role of cash and digital payments in the new economy.

“One thing HMT were seeking views on was whether the current denominational mix of coins meets the public’s needs, and from the early reaction it looks as if it does.”

Asked about the future of the £50 note, which has also be called into doubt by the consultation exercise, the spokesman said that the process was on-going.

The comments come after charities raised concerns about scrapping the coins.

Around six in 10 1p and 2p coins are believed to be used only once before they are put into savings jars - and around 8pc are thrown away.

The use of £50 notes in routine purchases is rare and people perceive them to be used mainly in criminal activities, according to the Government.

The Cash and Digital Payments in the New Economy consultation released by the Government questions whether the current mix of eight coins and four banknotes meets modern needs, and if not “how should it change?”

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