/ Money

Don’t ditch the one penny piece!

UK one pennies

Save the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. That’s my response to talk of the UK following Canada and ditching the one penny coin. It may be small, but it’s perfectly formed and I don’t want to lose it.

They say ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. And usually I don’t, or at least most of the time. First thing in the morning can be a different matter, as the poor members of my team can probably testify. But when it comes to money matters, I absolutely do sweat the small stuff.

You could argue it’s a prerequisite of my job title, but I happen to be the type of person who puts all their spending on a cashback credit card for just 1% cashback (that equates to only a few pounds a month). I buy whatever I can via cashback websites, even when the reward is only a few pence. I’ve even been known not to buy something in a particular supermarket, just because I’m sure I remember seeing it cheaper in another.

And I admit, I do get a certain sense of satisfaction when I’m able to pay a shopkeeper with the exact change by unloading my coppers.

Keep the UK’s one penny piece

So, when I saw speculation about the future of the Great British penny following Canada’s withdrawal of its one cent coin, I felt the need to express my protest at the idea of losing it.

My brother lives in New Zealand, which has the same lack of a small denomination coin. In fact, the smallest coin they have is a ten cent piece. This effectively means that if your spending isn’t a nice multiple of ten, your bill is automatically rounded up or down.

It could be argued that this all balances out, but my prevailing memory is of feeling robbed whenever I handed over a dollar for a 97 cent purchase, say, and received nothing in return. I could have understood this if all items on sale were priced at nice round numbers, but that just wasn’t the case.

My love for the pretty penny

I’m sure many will disagree with my love for our smallest coin. And, I admit, I’m at more of an advantage when it comes to a glut of coinage, as I don’t typically carry it around in my pocket. Although, my shoulder might be in better shape if my handbag didn’t put so much strain on it. Plus, the vast majority of my spending these days is on my aforementioned credit card, so who knows how much longer cash in any form will hang around.

But until that day, call me a penny pincher, but I want the one pence piece to hang around. After all, how else will I get my regular dose of good luck!

Should we get rid of the 1p piece?

No - I like copper coins (55%, 225 Votes)

Yes - and 2p coins with them (28%, 115 Votes)

Yes - we don't need 1p coins (17%, 71 Votes)

Total Voters: 417

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Rather than complain about all these pennies we could put them in one of the charity boxes, conveniently placed next to tills.


That’s precisely what I do with them. I never keep copper in my pockets. But what a lame excuse to keep all those expensive coins in circulation. The metal can be put to much better use.

Boxes have to be distributed, collected, counted, banked, receive no Gift Aid and are insecure. Antiquated and well beyond their sell by date.


Here we go again!
It seems like only yesterday that the same was being said about the old penny, then the new half pence piece and the sixpence (worth 2.5p).
I very seldom use cash, when I do I have to check the value of each piece to see what it is.
I doubt if we could ever do without cash, but for me it belongs in the past, around 1964 when I was one of the first 1 million launch customers of the Barclaycard.

If you want to start a real argument, suggest getting rid of the pound.


Round up or DOWN? In your dreams – it will go up, as it did when we lost the farthing, halfpenny, went decimal, lost the half pence (1.2 old pennies). So something costing 29p would become 30p – 3% increase (more than inflation!).
Spare a thought for children who spend pocket money – 1p may be quite important.
It is probably inevitable, inflation won’t increase significantly because of it, and it’s probably best to lose a little-used coin. But the consumer will be the (slight) loser.
What will happen to the psychologically attractive pricing of only £1.99 (looks so much better then £2). Does £1.98 look as good?
And what about naming children – Tuppence doesn’t sound quite right.


I think you are out of touch regarding pocket money. 🙂

I have noticed an increasing number of prices shown in pounds. It saves a lot of messing around.


Why would something costing 29p become 30p? It’s 20p + 5p + 2p + 2p. You could continue paying for anything except 1p and 3p with the exact amount of cash.


There are times when a 99p coin would be useful.


Now why has no-one thought of that before?


And a 0.9p coin for buying petrol.