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Bad news for one and two cent coins following government trial results

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
"Massive success": The one and two cent coins cost more than they're worth
"Massive success": The one and two cent coins cost more than they're worth

The government are set to scrap one and two cent coins following local trials which have been deemed to be a huge success.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, the proposal is to be brought before the cabinet tomorrow by Finance Minister Michael Noonan. 

He is to bring the memo to government recommending the withdrawal of the coins after a trial undertaken in Wexford was found to be a "massive success". 

The National Payments Plan (NPP) last year carried out the trial in the county and recommended it to be rolled out nationally. 

One and two cent coins have been found to cost more to mint than they are worth, and go out of circulation quickly as people tend to accumulate them. 

The trial, which ran from September to November of 2013, was found to be strongly supported by both consumers and retailers. During it, retailers rounded the change to the nearest five cent, eliminating the need for one and two cents coins. 

In May of 2013, the European Commission tabled several scenarios for the withdrawal of the one and two cent coins, with the cost of printing these coins greater than their use.

"The production of 1 and 2 cent coins is clearly a loss-making activity for the euro area with the difference between the face value of the coins and the price paid by the state to get them pointing at an estimated total cumulative loss of €1.4 billion since 2002," the commission said in a press release.
 
Five EU member states, including the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Hungary have already adopted a similar policy. 
 
CEO of Wexford Chamber of Commerce, Madeleine Quirke, said the trial was hugely successful with businesses and consumers alike.
 
"We have had very little resistance from customers or businesses... as far as we are concerned it has been a massive success," she said.
 
"We would welcome a nationwide roll-out and feel the time and expense spared by businesses will serve the economy well in the long run."
 
Figures have revealed it costs more than €3.5m to produce one and two cent coins.
 
It is estimated that approximately €35m worth of the copper currency is stored away in jars across the country.
 
This is costing the economy more than €10m a year.It costs 1.65c to mint each one cent coin and 2.07c to mint each two cent coin.