1p and 2p coins could be scrapped thanks to a rise in electronic payments

The penny could become a thing of the past, thanks to the rise in contactless and digital payments.

Phillip Hammond has told of his controversial plans to get rid of the 1p and 2p coins, as well as the £50 note, in the Autumn budget.

This comes after the Treasury revealed that 60 percent of all 1p and 2p coins are used only once before being put away into savings. It was also revealed that in eight percent of cases these coins are just thrown away.

According to the Treasury’s consultation document, the government and the Royal Mint have:

“needed to produce and issue over 500 million 1p and 2p coins each year to replace those falling out of circulation.”

One of the strongest criticisms of these changes comes from charities, who believe they will be strongly affected by these changes.

1p coins may be scrapped due to proposed changes made by the Treasury | Image Credit: Gizmodo

According to Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy Volunteering at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), although there has been a massive rise in electronic payments, the majority of donations to charities are given in cash.

He said:

“Giving by cash methods remains, by some distance, the most popular way of giving to charity. 58 percent of donors give to charity using cash.

“Giving coins to charity is the starting point on a journey for lots of people. Direct Debits bring in more money to charities, but giving loose change underpins Britain’s culture of giving.

If we are going to scrap coins and notes then we need to think about ways to give smaller charities different ways to get people on the journey of giving to good causes.”

He added:

“Perhaps we should be thinking creatively about how we can encourage people to give them to good causes instead.

“As society moves from cash to digital payments we particularly need to help small charities get ready as the people who give pennies today are the people who give pounds tomorrow.”

Members of the public have taken to Twitter to express their concerns about the possible changes. Twitter user Jay believes that arcades, charities and homeless people will feel the impact of the scrapping of one and two pence coins.

 

Twitter use @wallin_08 believes that these changes will have a negative affect on many industries | Image Credit: @wallin_08 on Twitter

On the other hand, some believe that this could result in people donating higher amounts to charities instead, giving 5p or 10p coins instead.  Twitter user Alexander believes that “charities stand to benefit from this.”

Some members of public believe that getting rid of low value coins may result in charities receiving higher donations | Image Credit: @Xandyballs on Twitter


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Who is Phillip Hammond- the man in charge of our money?

With George Osborne leaving his role as Chancellor of the Exchequer following Brexit, just who exactly is the new man carrying the red briefcase, and why is he in charge of our money?

Phillip Hammond, aged 60, became chancellor of the exchequer in July 2016, appointed by Theresa May as his predecessor George Osborne was removed from the position after the unexpected results of the European Union referendum vote.

Hammond, educated in Oxford, started his career at the medical equipment manufacturers Speywood Laboratories Ltd in the late 80s, becoming the head of the company just three years later. It was not until the mid-90s that Hammond started his political career. Working for The World Bank, when he was assigned to be an advisor to the government of Malawi.

He first became a Member of Parliament in 1997, serving on the Environment, Transport and the Regions Select Committee up until 2001. But Hammond’s political career did not stop there: he became a member of the Shadow Cabinet and then the Foreign Secretary after the 2005 general election when the Conservative party came into power. Although Prime minister and leader of the party David Cameron resigned as leader following the Brexit vote, Hammond stayed and was eventually trusted to be in charge of the finance of the country.

In the position of Foreign Secretary Hammond set a goal to close in UK’s military budget and was known as an “axeman” of the Conservative party. Coming to EU referendum and David Cameron rocking the boat, Hammond stayed loyal backing the Remain campaign despite previous Eurosceptic comments, related to access of the single market. Hammond was also the main star dealing with Iran’s nuclear deal in 2015.

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Phillip Hammond with his wife Susan

As chancellor of the exchequer, Phillip Hammond has kept a relatively low profile so far. Hammond is a family man with a wife and three children. In addition, Phillip Hammond is said to be one of the richest members in the cabinet with estimated fortune of £8 million, which he obtained by co- founding a real estate business.

 

What to expect from the autumn statement

Today at 12.30pm chancellor, Phillip Hammond, will officially announce the autumn statement 2016.

The autumn statement updates MPs on the government’s plans for spending and taxation. It is the second of the two important economic statements the chancellor gives every year, the first of which being the budget.

This will be the first ever autumn statement from the new chancellor.

It is also his first major economic speech since the Brexit vote earlier this year.

Government watchdog, The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), will also reveal its forecasts for growth, inflation and other economic matters.

So what can we expect from this years autumn statement? Here are the key points expected to be announced later today.

 

  • Several billions pounds to be spent on housing and transport infrastructure.
  • A £1bn scheme for developing super-fast one gigabit broadband, and 5G mobile access.
  • £1bn diverted to the welfare system, in an attempt to soften the blow after cuts made by the ex-chancellor, George Osbourne.
  • A ban on letting agent fees, which should renters money. A policy originally proposed by Ed Miliband.
  • The national minimum wage will rise from £7.20 to £7.50.
  • The tax-free personal allowance will rise from £11,000 to £12,500.
  • The higher-rate threshold will rise from £43,000 to £50,000.
  • Even further cuts in corporation tax.

 

In this years autumn statement, the “chancellor will deliver on government pledge to support ordinary working class families,”  according to a press release from the Treasury sent to political journalists yesterday. Teresa May has promised to help the “just about managing” families in Britain, or “JAMS” as many are now calling them.

The official speech will be delivered at around 12.30pm today.

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Philip Hammond will give his first Autumn budget today

 

 

 

 

 

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