pennies
Image: © cweyant via Wikimedia Commons

Do we really need pennies?

Bank of England says getting rid of 1p and 2p coins won't cause inflation

Are pennies pointless? The debate returns as the Bank of England says getting rid of 1p and 2p coins wouldn't cause inflation.

What it means: Back in March, Chancellor Philip Hammond suggested that removing 1p and 2p coins might make sense. It costs almost as much to make them as it does coins with higher value, and 60% are only used once and never again.

(Fun fact: you're only allowed to use 1p coins in batches of 20p: any more would be breaking the 'Legal Coinage Act' of 1971, which states "Do not piss people off by piling 21+ pennies on their counter", or something along those lines.)

But Hammond's proposal caused backlash among penny lovers across the country. Some said we'd be ridding ourselves of 1,000 years of history. Others were worried the price of everything currently ending in .99 would go up by 1p.

But the Bank of England says that's unlikely to happen. Shops could simply round up the bill at the end of a purchase by 1p, and not price any new items as ending in .99. Only 3% of shopping is done in cash, of which 12% is for products ending in .99 - so we're talking a miniscule number of transactions anyway.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?