/ Money

Your view: a penny for your thoughts

Stack of British one pence pieces

Talk of scrapping the one penny piece had you chipping in your feelings about small change, as well as some nostalgia for the coins you remember fondly from the past.

Our Ceri Stanaway shared her feelings about the UK’s smallest denomination and life without pennies. While Ceri finds pennies useful, not everyone seems to find them so valuable. Craig could definitely live without copper coins:

‘Yes scrap the penny and 2p coins; they are a pain in the backside. You only end up with jars full of them. They could easily price things in increments of five.’

On Twitter, ‘Starlight’s Dad’ had some advice to get the most out of copper coins:

‘Don’t hoard coppers. Don’t waste money in coin counting machines. Coppers in self service till, pay balance by card’

A more radical paper money solution came from Malcolm R:

‘Perhaps just ditch coins and use paper money, scaled in pence (or 0.1p for petrol?) – just cut off the bit you need.’

Change for charities

Wavechange suggested an alternative fate for our spare 1p coins:

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

Reggie on Facebook thinks that charities could lose out (or do much better):

‘All my 1s, 2s and 5s go into charity boxes, so I won’t miss them, but the charities might. Perhaps I’ll have to be less stingy and put in 10s or 20s.’

The removal of our copper coins worries W j g:

‘If the penny or the 2p coins were scrapped, rounding up or rounding down would occur on some prices, but only when cash is used. Rounding would not be a problem, for an increasing number of people using credit cards, or similar plastic, for electronic payments, where the exact price is paid.’

John Ward has a novel solution to avoid this issue:

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

Nostalgia for pennies gone by

BrianAC is not too surprised to see pennies at risk of being scrapped:

‘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. 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.’

Ludiger Harris would be very sad to see the penny disappear:

‘I remember the old copper one penny piece vividly. Such a charming denomination and a truly great shame and sad day if they decide to withdraw it from our shops, streets and children’s hands. I remember when the old boy was introduced in 1971 and we had a huge party to celebrate. Over 500 people turned up and we had miles of bunting and a mammoth sing-song with old favourites like Knees Up Mother Brown and When Imhotep Went to the Ritz belted out until the small hours – my utmost apologies to my neighbours if they’re reading this!’

And on that musical note, we award Ludiger the Comment of the Week! Would you be sorry to see pennies disappear from your wallet? Are the days of cash numbered?

Jean Hall says:
10 February 2013

I vote no to keeping the one pence and the two pence piece, I like others have a jar full of them.

Jean Dillon says:
10 February 2013

I agree that they are a nuiscence, but if they and the 2 pence were scrapped then lots of products would go up in price. At the end of each week when I am sorting my money for the following week I [put all the 1p, 2p and 5p into separate money bags, keeping a tally on how much is in the bags.When a bag has reached the full amount that is allowed in it I take it to the bank to get it changed for either one or five pound and use this savings to help pay for unexpected payments

john mccolgan says:
10 February 2013

who uses cash theses days?

I guess it must be all those people who use ATMs.

Cash is real money that you have to physically extract from your wallet or handbag and part with to buy something – not some anonymous electronic transfer of virtual money you never see used for an impulse purchase. Cash does, I think, make you realise you are losing assets to buy something – in contrast to the unreal credit-driven world some inhabit.
Perhaps the Government could follow this philosophy and only spend cash (but then, unlike us, they can print it when they run short , so maybe it’s best to go back to the gold standard).