Frances Ball 3 May 2019 12:31pm

Treasury commits to pennies

Chancellor Philip Hammond says the Treasury will continue the use of copper coins, emphasising access to cash across the country

In his Spring Statement last year, Hammond had called for the consultation on the current use of coins and banknotes in circulation. This morning he concluded that he wants people to “have a choice” over the way they use money, adding that 1p and 2p coins will be used “for years to come”.

The Treasury estimates that 2.2 million people in the UK rely on cash, particularly the elderly and vulnerable as well as those living in rural areas.

Contactless payments by debit card were a major factor in the decision to examine cash use in the UK, after the number of card payments overtook cash for the first time in 2017.

Surveys quoted by the BBC suggest that one in 12 1p coins are thrown away.

The Treasury also confirmed plans for a plastic redesign for the £50 note