Do you still use 1p and 2p coins?

Ministers say there are no current plans to scrap the coins but they could be ditched following a review

The Government has said it will not scrap 1p and 2p coins, following a major outcry from MPs, the charity sector and members of the public.

As part of his spring statement on Tuesday, the Chancellor announced a call for evidence on encouraging cashless and digital payments.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has announced plans to consult on the possibility of scrapping the smallest denominations of United Kingdom currency.

The call for evidence is simply meant to enable the government to better understand the role of cash and digital payments in the new economy. They are either saved, or in 8% of cases are thrown away.

The Treasury published a "call for evidence" on the proposed changes on Tuesday, saying that now most small denomination coins are only used once before being put in piggy banks or thrown away.

"To meet demand created by such losses from circulation, in previous years the government and the Royal Mint have needed to produce and issue over 500 million 1p and 2p coins each year to replace those falling out of circulation", the Treasury said.

"A sharp decline in the use of low-value coins and a surge in contactless card and phone payments has prompted the rethink", The Daily Telegraph reports.

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But the cost of processing and distributing these low denomination coins is the same as higher denomination coins.

£50 notes, meanwhile, are often used for money laundering.

The Treasury document states the UK's highest-value note is "believed to be rarely used for routine purchases".

However, there is significant demand from overseas for these notes, where they are saved alongside dollars and euros. The document also notes that people associate the £50 note with money laundering, tax evasion, and criminal activity. The government would "welcome all contributions to the debate" and would respond after the consultation closes on 5 June, he added.

Conservative former chancellor George Osborne was reported to have been weeks from scrapping pennies in 2015, but was stopped by then prime minister David Cameron.

"But, it's still a good idea", he posted, highlighting how there is a "global move to phase out big notes" due to fears they are mainly used illicitly.

Sara Coles, personal finance expert at investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown, warned that savers could be hit.



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