Prices in shops should be rounded up or down in an effort to do away one and two cent coins, a report recommends today.
... The Central Bank found that one and two cent coins are not actively used by consumers and are expensive to mint. In many countries, including the Netherlands and Finland, low denomination coins have effectively been removed from circulation through the use of the rounding rule. [EE: also Canada, Australia, and New Zealand]
With this rule, goods and services are still priced in multiples of one or two cent but are rounded up at the till. For expample [sic] a bill of €56.21 is rounded down to €56.20 while a bill of €56.23 is rounded up to €56.25.
The NPP says a pilot should be run in a mid-sized Irish town to investigate consumer and merchant reaction to the use of a rounding rule in Ireland. Bray, Co Wicklow, and Drogheda and Dundalk in Co Louth are in the running to be chosen to pilot the scheme.
Do a pilot study? why? They've done the reading and the research, and eliminating the low-value coins is a plan whose time has come. Just do it. The entire Euro block should do it.
If they have some doubts, they should hire EclectEcon as a special consultant!
Brian also wondered if there is any symbolic meaning in the photo that accompanied the article. It is from a mint in Athens, Greece:
For my testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, see this.
Addendum: For considerable precedent in many other countries, see this section at Wikipaedia.