VOTE NOW: Do we still need 1p and 2p coins or should they be scrapped?

Do people still need 1p and 2p coins in an increasingly cashless society? (file photo)

Do people still need 1p and 2p coins in an increasingly cashless society? (file photo) - Credit: citizenside.com

The 1p and 2p coins are rarely used in the modern world and are typically just handed to customers as change in stores - so should they be scrapped entirely?

Price rises and inflation over many years mean the lowest-value coins are used less and less.

For example, when the penny was introduced as a unit of currency in the UK in 1971, a pint of milk cost about 5p - but the same product will cost at least 10 times that now.

The Royal Mint, which produces all physical currency in the UK, could save money from the public purse if it was no longer obliged to make more 1ps and 2ps. A total of 88million 1p coins were produced in 2020.

A move to withdraw them would also not be unprecedented - the half-penny coin was removed from circulation in 1984.

But despite the surge in popularity for card transactions, there are still many people in the UK who prefer to use cash. This is especially true in rural parts of the country, such as in Suffolk.

Unwanted pennies can still be used by those who prefer to pay by card, such as part-payment in a self-service machine.

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There could also be a knock-on effect in stores that advertise their products as 1p below the pound. If pennies were taken out of circulation, it would remove a pricing lever for retailers.

Low-value coins are also still accepted in charity donations, meaning good causes could lose out if 1ps and 2ps no longer exist.

Research by lending website Cashfloat in 2021 found 2.7million Britons still rely solely on cash.

Do you still think 1p and 2p coins serve a purpose? Let us know in our poll below.