Downing Street signals 1p and 2p coins will be spared the axe

Posted On: 
14th March 2018

Downing Street has dropped a clear hint that the 1p and 2p coins will not be abolished as part of a Treasury review.

The Treasury consultation questioned whether 1p and 2p pieces were still needed.
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A consultation launched by Philip Hammond at yesterday's Spring Statement suggested the much-loved coppers could be axed, sparking a public outcry.

The Treasury document said the coins are becoming increasingly defunct as shops have begun to phase them out and people keep them "in savings jars" rather than spend them. 

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The Treasury document published alongside the consultation says: "From an economic perspective, having large numbers of denominations that are not in demand, saved by the public, or in long-term storage at cash processors rather than used in circulation does not contribute to an efficient or cost effective cash cycle."

It also hinted that the £50 note could be axed as it is "rarely used for routine purchases and is instead held as a store of value".

In the wake of the criticism which has greeted the move, tthe Prime Minister's spokesman indicated that they were likely to be reprieved.

He said: "There are no proposals to scrap one or two pence coins in the consultation. The call for evidence is simply intended to enable the Government to better understand the role of cash and digital payments in the economy.

"One thing the Treasury were seeking views on was whether the current denominational mix of coins meets the public's needs. From the early reaction, it looks as if it does.

"The Government welcomes the contribution to the debate and will respond fully when the call for evidence closes."