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Could 1 and 2 cent euro coins soon be scrapped?

If you hate carrying pocketfuls of the tiny one and two cent euro coins then you'll be in favour of what the European Commission is planning to do.

Could 1 and 2 cent euro coins soon be scrapped?
AFP/ECDC

Brussels is considering a new rule to round off all prices to the nearest 5 cents, which would mean phasing out the small, brown one and two cent coins.

On Monday, the Commission opened a 15-week public consultation on the use of the small coins.

After consultation, the Commission will consider the possibility of putting forward a new law at the end of next year which would introduce uniform EU-wide rules for rounding off cash payments to the nearest 5 cents

“EU rules on euro coins state that the EU institutions should periodically examine the use of different denominations of euro coins in terms of costs and public acceptability,” the consultation said.

The commission “will carefully study the economic, environmental and social consequences of introducing uniform rounding rules,” it said on Monday.

Ordinary citizens and institutions are invited to share their opinions and suggestions on the issue of whether prices should be rounded off and the small coins ditched.

Citizens are invited to leave feedback on the Commission's website. A quick look at the comments suggests opinions were divided.

One commenter from France wrote: “I am in favour of removing the 1 and 2 cent coins. They are expensive to produce, to transport, and clutter up purses without providing any real service. In addition, these “small” coins seem to me all the less necessary as card and contactless payments have increased significantly (especially since the Covid epidemic).”

However another respondent summed up the views of many who though a rounding off of prices would simply mean a rounding up of prices at the expense of consumers.

“Abolishing 1 and 2 cent coins will most likely result in another rounding up of prices concerning mostly consumer goods, which will make day-to-day life even more expensive, whilst wages have not risen and are in the future unlikely to increase at the same rate,” wrote the anonymous commenter.

“Hence, the standard of living is progressively decreasing. Now that cannot possibly be, nor should it be, the aim of the European Union.”

 

Member comments

  1. No need to phase them out. Just make automated vending and coffee machines accept them.
    Very annoying that most of these don’t accept anything below the 5 cent coin.

  2. I think it’s better to abolish these two coins. One main reason to abolish it which would benefit the consumer is that there would be no more psychological pricing, instead of 99,99 it would make 100 or 99,95 . Good for us actually.

  3. …..because retailers have always put the consumer first and rounded prices down to benefit the consumer and reduced their profits, haven’t they?

  4. We had 1c and 2c coins in Australia and both coins were withdrawn from circulation in 1992 and nobody missed them. So many people now use cards anyway, so don’t see why they are needed. I generally come home with heaps of these after holidaying in Europe.

  5. When I lived in Belgium in pre-Euro days, there were far more Belgian francs than French francs per £ and the coins went down to 1/4 and 1/2 cents. Final bills were always rounded up or down, but the actual prices of goods still showed these small denominations. Only the final total was rounded, so 3 items at 4.45 would come to 13.35 and be charged as 13 francs, or at 4.85, making 14.55 would be charged as 15 francs. Seemed reasonable to me.

  6. When I lived in Belgium in pre-Euro days, there were far more Belgian francs than French francs per £ and the coins went down to 1/4 and 1/2 cents. Final bills were always rounded up or down, but the actual prices of goods still showed these small denominations. Only the final total was rounded, so 3 items at 4.45 would come to 13.35 and be charged as 13 francs, or at 4.85, making 14.55 would be charged as 15 francs. Seemed reasonable to me.

  7. They haven’t been using the 1c & 2c in Italy for quite some time now – rounding off to the nearest 5c.
    Keep up France….

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MONEY

French government plans new payment scheme to help motorists with fuel prices

The French Finance Minister has announced plans for a financial payment scheme to help low-income workers who rely on their vehicles to get to work, but are currently struggling with rising fuel prices

French government plans new payment scheme to help motorists with fuel prices

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Monday that the government plans to bring in a one-time subsidy to assist low-income workers who are obligated to use their vehicles to get to and from work. 

The finance minister made the announcement, which could affect up to 11 million households, on France Inter radio on Monday morning, saying that the current plan is for the subsidy to apply to those earning up to €1,600 per month.

The benefit could be extended to include up to 60 percent of the poorest people living in France, but the final income framework has not yet been announced.

The benefit is intended to help those who take their cars to work but can “no longer make ends meet because the price of fuel is too high,” said Le Maire.

As of Monday morning, the average price of Diesel is €2.06 per litre. Meanwhile, the price of petrol (SP95 – E5) is currently averaging at €2.09 per litre. For E10 petrol, the average price per litre is closer to two euros, standing at €2.03

Should the proposal be accepted by parliament, those who meet income and driving criteria will be able to take advantage of this fuel subsidy by logging on to the tax site and filling out an application for assistance. Then, the government will ensure that the applicant has a vehicle (by checking car insurance contracts) and does indeed meet the income criteria.

READ MORE: MAP: How to avoid paying too much for fuel when you’re driving in France

The proposal is for the fuel subsidy to be paid in one go at a fixed amount for all who fit the requirements, regardless of the distance driven to work (whether that be five or 30 km). That being said, frequent drivers, those who drive more than 12,000 km a year, will still benefit from a separate, pre-existing bonus specific to their situation.

The amounts of the subsidy have not yet been communicated and the timeline for when this would take effect is currently unknown, because the measure will first need to be voted on in parliament.

Currently, motorists benefit from a €0.18 cent subsidy per litre at the pump.

However, should the new payment for low-income drivers be put into effect, the current €0.18 subsidy would no longer be extended until the end of the year, as was planned, and would be instead be reduced “in stages.” 

Other plans to ease the cost-of-living crisis have also been proposed.

The left-wing has suggested lowering the VAT – the consumer-consumption tax – associated with fuel.

However, President Emmanuel Macron’s government has said that multiple proposals would not be possible at the same time due to financial constraints, so it remains to be seen how this proposition will fair after being debated and voted on in parliament.

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