Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Phasing Out the Penny

I guess by now most Canadians have heard that beginning February 4, the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute pennies to financial institutions. At the same time, businesses are being encouraged to round off the amount of cash transactions (but not debit or credit transactions) to the nearest five-cent increment.

For example, the amount of $1.62 would round down to $1.60 whereas a transaction of $1.63 would round up to $1.65. Of course tax(es) will be calculated on the pre-rounded price.

Apparently it costs 1.6 cents to mint each one-cent coin, thanks to rising metal, labour and manufacturing costs. Stopping penny production will save taxpayers about $11 million in a single year.

Many Canadians hoard their pennies, often because they dislike carrying them so unload their pockets at the end of the day. We used to find pennies on the sidewalk and pick them up, thinking, "lucky penny". Nowadays we are more inclined to leave them.

We can still spend our pennies, though, to pay for purchases or we can take them to the bank, so roll'em and use'em or, even better, donate'em!