Ireland to discontinue one, two cent coins

Dublin, Oct 19 (IANS) Ireland is set to discontinue one and two cent coins from circulation, a media report said on Monday.

From the end of October, retailers will round up or down to the nearest five cent as smaller coins are phased out, The Guardian reported.

The country joins six other European Union nations which have already adopted a rounding-off policy, including Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The Central Bank of Ireland said one-cent coins cost more to mint than their equivalent face value: a one cent coin costs 1.65 cents to produce, while the two cent coin costs 1.94 cents.

The phasing out of the one and two cent coins means that the five cent coin will be Ireland’s smallest unit of exchange.

Shops and supermarkets will still be able to price goods at 99 cents, but will only give cash change to the nearest five cents. The rounding will only apply to cash transactions, with electronic payments still accepted in one cent increments.

The phasing out of the coins follows a trial in Wexford in 2013, which showed that 85 percent of consumers and 100 percent of retailers were happy with rounding.

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