back to article Ireland moves to scrap 1 and 2 cent coins

Ireland is moving to eliminate diminutive 1 and 2 euro cent coins with the introduction of "coin rounding", which will see cash transactions rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents. Following a successful 2013 trial in Wexford, the plan will roll out across the Emerald Isle on 28 October. Rounding is entirely voluntary, both …

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  1. cambsukguy

    Finland did this ages ago

    Such a relief not to piss about with useless coinage.

    Come on the UK/England, let's catch up with the progressive countries.

    We did the plastic bag thing eventually, let's go all the way.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      > progressive

      You are right about that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        Why not go further and eliminate 5p coins as well?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Finland did this ages ago

          "Why not go further and eliminate 5p coins as well?"

          Morrisons supermarkets have eliminated some coins. The new automatic tills being installed/upgraded do not give 50p or 10p coins in change, but they do accept them. Fucking stupid if you ask me.

    2. Brian T

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      Finland and the Netherlands. The Dutch shops didn't dump the old .99c prices, just round up or down at the check-out on the total. Which often works in the shops' favour... I leave it to the student to work out why (hint - buying patterns).

      1. Tezfair
        WTF?

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        I discovered this by accident when I was in Holland with the dutchside of the family. I paid for something and was expecting change, arm out and the shop owner looking at me. Very odd situation to be in. Sister in law forgot to tell me and found it amusing.

    3. Mondo the Magnificent
      Devil

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      So did The Netherlands...

      It literally takes Dutch courage to pay with anything smaller than a 5c piece there...

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        >It literally takes Dutch courage to pay with anything smaller than a 5c piece

        The Dutch have always had a thing about minimising the number of coins given in change, even long before the Euro. Whereas in the UK its fairly common just to hand over a note and expect to be given the appropriate change unless they'd run out, I found that you'd get a rather stern look from a Dutch cashier if you attempted to do the same thing and a request for additional coins: "heb je een stuiver/dubbeltje/kwartje erbij". And actually very sensible since you don't end up wandering round with groaning pockets and the shops don't have to carry such large floats.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Finland did this ages ago

          And actually very sensible since you don't end up wandering round with groaning pockets and the shops don't have to carry such large floats.

          From what you write, sounds like the thieves still price to odd small numbers, but have no plan on giving you the exact change unless it happens to "round" to five cents. Why don't the EU just introduce the new eurocent, of which there are twenty per euro? Of course, doesn't sit well with their decimal obsessions, but that's a problem they've allowed to occur by not controlling the money supply.

          1. Steve Knox Silver badge

            Re: Finland did this ages ago

            Why don't the EU just introduce the new eurocent, of which there are twenty per euro?

            That would be the euroviginti.

      2. John Riddoch

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        I remember NL pre-euro - ISTR shops had prices in all odd numbers, but once at the till, they rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

    4. dorsetknob
      Coat

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      Your either too young or too stupid not to remember decimilasion In Britain when Prices WERE ALWAYS ROUNDED UP NEVER DOWN..................... Not a Good move for the Consumer

      Your only excuse Might be is that your not British

      Damm i know there is a one pence in this pocket somewhere

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Your either too young or too stupid

        "Give more, get change"

        And learn the difference between your and you're before you quit university to become a coder.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Your either too young or too stupid

          "And learn the difference between your and you're before you quit university to become a coder."

          I agree with the first part but a little thought would sow that someone who remembers decimalisation in the UK is probably a little old to be at University. It may help you work this out if I point out that my kids, neither or whom was born at the time, have been out of University for nigh on a couple of decades.

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: Your either too young or too stupid

            Nonononono.

            It was advice to the new student, not the geezer with the dulcet tones of The Scaffold still ringing in his ears.

            But if we are recommending "little thoughts" might I just suggest that a mature man or woman can continue their formal education into later years if they so desire? The American course structuring makes this more palatable than the disappointingly still prevalent British Three Year Wodge O' Learnin', but there are other options than University even then.

            Or are you like the young men that surround me at work, convinced that a sixty year old is past it good and proper brains wise? Because if so, I have to tell you that on an IBM course I attnded last week it was the under forties who were slowing things to a crawl with monumental levels of shirt-thickness, every man jack of them armed with a shiny CS degree still piping hot from the oven.

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        That's wrong, I've still got a currency conversion chart from 1971.

        1d -> 0.5p rounded up 0.0.833p

        2d -> 1p rounded up 0.166p

        3d -> 1p rounded down 0.25p

        4d -> 1.5p rounded down 0.166p

        5d -> 2p rounded down 0.0833p

        6d -> 2.5p exact

        7d -> 3p rounded up 0.0833p

        8d -> 3.5p rounded up 0.166p

        9d -> 3.5p rounded down 0.25p

        10d -> 4p rounded down 0.166p

        11d -> 4.5p rounded down 0.0833p

        12d -> 5p exact

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Finland did this ages ago

          "That's wrong, I've still got a currency conversion chart from 1971."

          Yeah, that was the legal definitions for the conversion. But the prices still all went up.

  2. Paul Herber

    Maybe it's about time UK petrol and diesel prices were rounded to the nearest 1p instead of this stupid 108.9p/litre!

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Unless you're buying less than 10 litres of petrol, it makes no difference. Think of it as £10.89/10l.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "this stupid 108.9p/litre"

      Morrisons Diesel is 107.7p 'round here :-)

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    backdoor inflation

    You will find that this means that all retailers will round the prices up instead of rounding transactions at the till.

    The introduction of euro itself was an example of this - all prices were rounded up when being converted from Lira, Peso or whatever other currency the country was abandoning at the time.

    1. Robin

      Re: backdoor inflation

      If it means we lose the silly '9.99' or '2.49' thing in the supermarkets, which presumably nobody falls for any more, then I wouldn't mind that.

      Also the euro-introduction rounding was a little different, as it relied on people not really knowing what the price should be without calculating everything. If my 2.98 pack of burgers or whatever suddenly costs 3.50, then it would be more obvious.

      1. Timbo

        Re: backdoor inflation

        "If it means we lose the silly '9.99' or '2.49' thing in the supermarkets, which presumably nobody falls for any more, then I wouldn't mind that."

        I quite agree....however, some shops use the number of pence as an indicator to shop staff about whether a product is "new", "on special offer" or "discontinued"....so, a price ending in .99 might be for "new", .97 might be for an "offer" and .94 might mean "discontinued".

        Given that more people are using credit,. debit or swipe cards (and the likelihood is that this will continue - even Aldi now accept credit cards), I can see a "coin less" future is heading nearer and nearer :)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: backdoor inflation

          "even Aldi now accept credit cards"

          You just noticed? First time you've been in for a decade or so?

      2. Brenda McViking

        Re: backdoor inflation

        Oh people fall for it alright. I used to do reductions in my local supermarket.. Put a sticker of a £1 or 50p on an item and you're left with half a shelf full at 22:00 which you have to chuck. make it 99p or 49p and there's none left by 19:00.

        It's all psychology, and it works, which is why it's done.

      3. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: backdoor inflation

        "If it means we lose the silly '9.99' or '2.49' thing in the supermarkets, "

        Unfortunately it doesn't. We've had this in Stralya longer than I've been here and stuff is still priced at X.99. Hell, we even have sofas marked at $2,999.99!

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: backdoor inflation

          We've had this in Stralya [sic] longer than I've been here and stuff is still priced at X.99. Hell, we even have sofas marked at $2,999.99!

          Psychological pricing is never going away, no matter the smallest denomination of whichever currency you're using. The price also only needs to be rounded if you use cash, otherwise it's still charged to the cent.

          The more pertinent fact here is that the Australian sky didn't collapse 24 years ago when we ditched the old copper 1c and 2c coins.

          And then New Zealand did away with 5c coins ten years ago and they seem to be doing fine. I wish we would do the same.

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: backdoor inflation

            Indeed, here in NZ the smallest coin is 10c. And things are still priced to 2 d.p.

            It's really quite rare to see people paying cash, though. EFTPOS and credit cards are king. My bank account still has an odd number of cents in it.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: backdoor inflation

      In the worst case it might mean a 49c chocolate bar becomes 50c but I suspect that for several purchases (as most purchases will be) it makes no difference. Retailers would have to round down for 1.11, 1.12 and round up for 1.13, 1.14 and so on.

      And if you were desperate to avoid the difference, you could stick it to the retailer by paying with a credit card.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: backdoor inflation

      all prices were rounded up when being converted

      Popular myth, but that would not have been legal. The official rules about exchange rate precision and rounding forbid it:

      "The conversion rate from national currency to the euro is expressed with 6 significant figures – not to be confused with 6 decimal points – for example SIT 239.640 equals €1. When conversions are made, it is prohibited to round or truncate the conversion rate. This ensures the exactness of conversion operations.

      Once the conversion from the national currency has been made, then the euro amount can be rounded up or down to the nearest euro cent: if the number in the third decimal place is less than 5, the second decimal remains unchanged (for example, €1.264 becomes €1.26); but if the third decimal is 5 or above, then the second decimal must be rounded up, for example €1.265 becomes €1.27."

      1. ckm5

        Re: Euro transition inflation

        That may have been the law, but the reality was much, much different - I was living in NL at the time and a lot of prices went up very significantly, some as much as 50%. It was insane. People lost something like 20-30% of their income overnight. And they still have not forgiven the EU for this, which goes a long way to explaining the distrust in the EU and downvoting of various EU proposals.

        And, before you say 'you don't know what you are talking about', my wife's ex-boss was the person responsible for the introduction of the Euro in NL, even he acknowledges that there was a lot of abuse in the transition and that the general public suffered an effective income loss.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Euro transition inflation

          there was a lot of abuse in the transition

          Some, undoutedly, but did NL not do as France did, and have dual pricing for a long time? The main French supermarkets certainly listed both Franc and Euro prices, so any large discrepancies would have been obvious. Even today my French bank still quotes both currencies in statements and official documents.

    4. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: backdoor inflation

      "You will find that this means that all retailers will round the prices up instead of rounding transactions at the till"

      I guess they might, if implemented incorrectly (ie allowing shops the freedom to implement as they choose) but my experience in the Netherlands is that all shops have the pricing to the nearest cent and round at the till. When purchasing a few items together, the rounding up tends to cancel out the rounding down. With X.99 pricing, it's only rounded consistently against the consumer when buying items in 1s and 2s.

      "all prices were rounded up when being converted from Lira, Peso or whatever other currency"

      This was not my experience of the Euro changeover at all. (Although to be fair I am not aware of any studies that undoubtedly were made on the topic)

      1. imanidiot Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: backdoor inflation

        Those too anal retentive for their own good can use the rounding to their advantage as "digital" transactions (debit/credit card) are still made to the exact number of cents. So if prices at the till round UP to the nearest 5 you pay by card, if the price is rounded DOWN you pay by cash. Do this consistently over 100 times a year and you might have saved yourself a full 2 euros.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

    Didn't some effing arsehole recently say that "quantiative easing is working"? It's working so well that everyone is jobless, rich people are getting richer and our kids are getting a fat, fat dunning letter before even having been born. While lefties cheer on and demand more of this because they think there is this "austerity" fantasy being implemented.

    I remember getting beer for 1c. That was before the EUR though

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

      "I remember getting beer for 1c. That was before the WAR though"

      FTFY

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

        "I remember getting beer for 1c. That was before the WAR though"

        FTFY

        Which one? The War of 1812? The Hundred Years War?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

          Which one? The War of 1812? The Hundred Years War?

          You know how Queen Elizabeth I wasn't called that while she was queen, because at that time she was the only Queen Elizabeth there had ever been, and it was only when Queen Elizabeth II came along that the first one was given a numerical designation? Commentard James Micallef didn't specify which war, just _the_ war, so maybe he meant that at the time beer was available for only 1c there had only been one war so far. Which actually seems reasonable: it is easy to imagine that at such an early time one beer may have cost one basic unit of exchange. One beer may actually have been the basic unit of exchange.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

      The rounding has nothing to do with the tom-foolery and financial repression of money printing.

      It is a reaction to the financial drag imposed by the highly effective "barrier pricing" of 0.99 or 0.49. Effective because research indicates that most people think that 0.99 is significantly less than 1.00 and, therefore, people buy something for *.99 because they think it is a big discount over *+1.99. This behaviour leads to sums at the checkout requiring the expensive to process small change. Outside of Germany, where it was studied and found that people do care (and this is largely why there are 1 and 2 cent pieces), it turns out that most people are more than happy with a round-up/round-down approach.

  5. Chris Gray 1
    Thumb Up

    Works in Canada

    Canada did this a few years ago. Works great, and I doubt anyone would want to go back. And no, I've seen no indication that sellers move their prices up. The way it works here is that if you pay by some means other than cash, the price is not rounded, so we still have prices marked as $.97, etc.

    Many cash registers still show the non-rounded prices, but by now both store clerks and customers are quite used to doing the rounding in their heads.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mike VandeVelde
      IT Angle

      Re: Works in Canada

      I always thought they should have done a currency split - issue new money: old $5 is worth new $1, old dollar is worth new 20c, old nickel is worth 1 new penny, old penny is useful for cheap flooring.

      http://adetailedhouse.com/2012/07/28/cents-and-sensibility-how-to-make-a-penny-floor/

    3. thames

      Re: Works in Canada

      People in Canada were glad to get rid of pennies. A lot of people were emptying their pockets of pennies at home because they were too much bother to carry around, so the pennies were accumulating in drawers instead of circulating. I would not want to see pennies come back.

      The coins that seem to get used the most when paying for things are loonies ($1), toonies ($2), and quarters. Nickels and dimes are what you get back in change and have to make an effort to get rid of when they accumulate too much.

      Personally, I would have been fine with dropping an entire decimal place. Nickles (5 cents) will likely go the way of the penny eventually. The only problem with that would be what to do about quarters (25 cents), perhaps simply declare them to be worth 20 cents?

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: Works in Canada

        "A lot of [Canadians] were emptying their pockets of pennies at home because they were too much bother to carry around, so the pennies were accumulating in drawers instead of circulating."

        That's *exactly* what I do with 1p and 2p coins. They're bloody useless.

  6. ratfox Silver badge
    Go

    Makes sense

    Switzerland's smallest used coin has been 5 cent of a Franc (more or less equal to 5 Euro cent) for 30 years, and even those feel like a waste of time to keep around in your wallet.

    Strangely, Wikipedia claims the 1 cent coin was still struck until 2006, even though item prices have been rounded to 5 cents practically everywhere since the eighties.

    Switzerland also seems to have the most valuable coin in circulation: 5 Swiss francs, a bit more than £3.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Makes sense

      Switzerland also seems to have the most valuable coin in circulation: 5 Swiss francs, a bit more than £3.

      5 Euro coins exist, but are rarely seen.

      1. Wilseus

        Re: Makes sense

        "5 Euro coins exist, but are rarely seen."

        The same is true for £5 coins.

      2. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Makes sense

        Commemorative £5 coins are legal tender, even if retailers might not know it and refuse them. That currently equals €6.84.

        Any further advances?

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Makes sense

          The Irish mint recently produced a €10 commemorative celebrating Joseph McLaughlin, aka Josef Locke, the renowned operatic singer. The choice of denomination shows that they like a bad pun as much as the rest of us...

          Coins like these are legal tender (you'd be nuts... they cost about €20 to buy), but are never circulated, so I think the five-franc's crown (heh) is safe.

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Makes sense

            Shocked to find a C$1M coin!

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