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Canada To Stop Making Pennies

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the doesn't-make-any-cents dept.

Canada 473

New submitter butilikethecookie writes with news that the 2012 federal budget for Canada calls for the Royal Canadian Mint to stop producing pennies. "The budget calls the lowly penny a 'burden to the economy.' 'It costs the government 1.6 cents to produce each new penny,' the budget says, adding the government will save about $11 million a year with its elimination (PDF). Some Canadians, it says, consider the penny more of a nuisance than a useful coin. ... Rounding prices will become the norm as the penny is gradually removed from circulation, the budget says. If consumers find themselves without pennies, cash transactions should be rounded to the nearest five-cent increment 'in a fair and transparent manner,' it says. Noncash payments such as checks and credit cards will continue to be settled by the cent, however."

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473 comments

I'll own up to it...I throw them away (2, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525547)

Pennies are so annoying here in the U.S. now that I refuse them when they're offered as change (or toss them into the penny jar or charity jar on the counter when they have one).

Sometimes I forget though, and I usually just throw them in the trash. I just hope my Grandma never finds out. She would have a heart attack on that one. I could never get it through to her that they would cost me more in time to deal with than the pennies themselves are even worth.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (5, Funny)

mmell (832646) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525583)

Big mistake.

Value of one hundred pennies - $1.00

Value of one sock - $1.98

The look on the guy's face when you hit him in the head with a sock full of pennies - priceless

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (1)

crypticedge (1335931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525639)

Damnit, you made me wish I saved 1 of my mod points I used today. Got a good laugh out of me at least.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525683)

He should've had a reverse peephole...

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525823)

It's better when they are half-dollars.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525933)

I'm partial to a bag full of hot nickels, myself.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (4, Insightful)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525623)

Are they still copper in the US? If they are I believe they would be worth more as metal than as money. I believe Canadian $0.01 are an alloy cheaper than copper.

Some enterprising guy figured this out about the Canadian dime in the 1960's - the silver was worth more than $0.10 so he would take armored cars full of dimes to New York and sell them for the silver - iirc he made quite a nice little profit for it too!

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525643)

Are they still copper in the US?

No, they are Zinc. But even the Zinc is worth more than the face value of a penny.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (4, Informative)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525689)

Yep. Though it is also illegal to melt down pennies for their metals anyway.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (2, Informative)

bogidu (300637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525765)

Maybe in Canada, not in the US. If you ARE referring to the US, you are thinking about it's illegal to DEFACE currency, meaning revalue it.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525949)

No it is not. You cannot deface it and still use it though. Melting down coins is illegal but not for defacing reasons.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525951)

Wrong. [slashdot.org]

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (5, Informative)

bogidu (300637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526109)

You linked an article in a newspaper. I'm referencing the actual law. btw, did you bother to READ the rest of the comments on the /. post you referenced? They pretty much nullified the post.

The last line is most relevant. DOUBLE WRONG!

Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States. This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525953)

No, it is illegal to melt them down in the US [slashdot.org] , if this sketchy web site is to be believed.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (4, Informative)

BForrester (946915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525927)

According to the Canadian Mint, the final run of pennies are primarily a steel-based alloy:

Composition: 94% steel, 1.5% nickel, 4.5% copper plating or copper plated zinc
Weight (g): 2.35

They're mostly Zinc (4, Informative)

neile (139369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525941)

Wikipedia to the rescue. They're 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper [wikipedia.org] , and have been that way since 1983.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (2)

taj (32429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526105)

US pennies made before 1982 are mostly copper with a current melt down (illegal) value of $0.02 each. Post 1982, the content is 95+% zinc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_(United_States_coin) [wikipedia.org]

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39526177)

US Pennies are almost all zinc nowadays, very little copper.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525705)

I keep them in plastic bottles. It's currently illegal to melt them. If they are withdrawn from circulation it will most likely be OK to melt them. I have enough to make something interesting. BTW copper+zinc=brass. A mix of old and new copper pennies can give you some kind of alloy.

Keep them someplace for cryin' out loud. The whole idea of throwing anything away like that is abominable. Besides, a penny is actually worth $0.025 in copper if it's an old copper penny.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525811)

so what if it's illegal to melt them? no one will know where the ingot came from...

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525707)

That's silly. I toss my pennies in my car's cupholder, and when I come to a McDonald's drivein, I gather together the 6, 12, or 18 pennies to cover the tax appended to the food price. (Actually I do that with all my change; it all gets dumped in my car for future use at a drivein or tollbooth.)

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39526017)

Like many others I keep everything but quarters in a change jar. The quarters go towards laundry.

I'm not sure how much of the total comes from pennies, but it seems like some day soon it's going to be less expensive to throw the whole can in the garbage than burning the fuel to the bank and back.

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526029)

I bet the drive-in cashiers love you...

Re:I'll own up to it...I throw them away (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526089)

I don't see why they wouldn't?

I've talked to several cashiers who said they loved when customers actually had exact change for them. They're constantly having to break open new rolls of coins to re-fill the register drawers with otherwise.

In unrelated news (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525567)

Happy Canadian April Fool's day to all my frosty friends North of the border!

Re:In unrelated news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525611)

It's actually true

I'm a Microsof whore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525585)

This is just another Google plot to further reduce our privacy protections so they can mine more data on us.

bonch

Just like in Switzerland (4, Interesting)

Wattos (2268108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525597)

Here in Switzerland this is already implemented. The smallest unit is 5 Rappen (5 cents)

Re:Just like in Switzerland (2)

RodBee (2607323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525687)

It's also implemented here in Brazil, with the same smallest units, 5 centavos (also 5 cents). But here it doesn't round the prices UNLESS is for the seller's benefit. If I may offer an advice, keep your pennies, Canada, lest they use their non-existence to rip you off.

Re:Just like in Switzerland (5, Funny)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525789)

> Here in Switzerland this is already implemented.

I'm not surprised -- most countries already don't produce Canadian pennies.

Re:Just like in Norway too (5, Interesting)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525893)

Here in Norway we been doing this for years:
- The 1 øre and 2 øre coins disappeared in '74
- The 5 øre and 25 øre coins were withdrawn in '84
- The 10 øre coin ended being legal tender in '92
- The 50 øre coin will be withdrawn may 1st this year.
So in a little over a month there will be no coins circulating that is worth less than 1 Norwegian krone... but you know what? The wast majority of Norwegians pay by card anyhow, and the prices has not changed with the smaller coins going away. If you pay by card, you pay the exact amount. If you pay cash, it is rounded up or down to the nearest coin-value.

For those curious; after the retirement of the 50 øre coin, a purchase of 9.49 kroner will be rounded down to 9.00 while a purchase of 9.50 kroner will be rounded up to 10.00 - unless you pay by card, in which case you pay the exact sum owed.

Re:Just like in Norway too (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526111)

So in a little over a month there will be no coins circulating that is worth less than 1 Norwegian krone... but you know what? The wast majority of Norwegians pay by card anyhow, and the prices has not changed with the smaller coins going away. If you pay by card, you pay the exact amount. If you pay cash, it is rounded up or down to the nearest coin-value.

That's the problem, and my biggest problem with this boneheaded move...

1. Not everybody has access to a card.
2. Unless you keep a certain minimum balance in the bank, or pay a monthly fee, you get hit with a service charge every time you use your card in Canada
3. The merchant gets hit with a service charge every time anyway.
4. (and my main personal concern with it) it's harder to budget when you're paying with plastic, because the money is not tangible.

I have quite happily been using folding money for small expenses for a while. It's much easier to budget if I take $100 cash out of the bank every payday, and tell myself that's my whatever money, and when it's gone it's gone. If they force me to start using a card for that, I will have to actually open a new bank account or buy a prepaid visa specifically so that I can have a card with separate funds from the money I use for groceries, gas, the rent, etc.. And yes, this would force me to use a card, because there's no way "rounding to the nearest $0.05" will work out in my favour.

This, of course, will mean that the merchants have to eat the increased costs of running a merchant terminal, and decreased margins, which means that it will increase the costs for everybody. The price of a cup of coffee will go up because of this.

Re:Just like in Switzerland (2)

Rational (1990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525921)

Finland also. Works well.

and in New Zealand (1)

dingfelder (819778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526033)

we dumped the penny already too

My two cents on this.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525605)

is going to be rounded up to a nickel.

Re:My two cents on this.. (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525691)

Actually, I think you'll find it was rounded down to $.00. ;)

Re:My two cents on this.. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525769)

It depends on whether he's buying or selling. Selling: rounded up. Buying: rounded down.

Re:My two cents on this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525717)

Actually, it would be rounded down to zero, making your input worthless.

Re:My two cents on this.. (4, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525757)

Ah, but since pennies currently cost 1.6 cents each to make, that means that his two cents would actually be worth 3.2 cents, and would thus actually really round up to a nickel.

Re:My two cents on this.. (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526149)

But if you take it a step further...

The nickel costs 11.18 cents to produce,[1] so we're now actually looking at a dime and a penny. According to a rather dated Business Week article[2], it costs 3 cents to make a dime. So we can now cut it back down to 4.6 cents. At this point, we round back to the nickel which drops us into a circular situation.

1. http://news.coinupdate.com/cost-to-make-penny-and-nickel-rises-1139/ [coinupdate.com]
2. http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/07/money/source/4.htm [businessweek.com]

And So Begins (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525609)

Phase II of our descent into a cashless society: the elimination of physical currency, starting with the lowest denominations and working up from there.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to my secret bunker, as I believe I hear the Hyperbole Police coming up the stairs. *dons tinfoil hat* Excelsior!!!

Re:And So Begins (2)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525759)

Phase II started over 150 years ago, then, when the half-cent was kicked to the curb.

Re:And So Begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525947)

Here in Europe we have 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents coins.
Way to go to eliminate all the 1 cent coins.

That's OK (5, Funny)

aclarke (307017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525613)

That's OK. We'll just continue to use American pennies. Thanks, guys!

Love It - even though I'm cynical about the intent (2, Insightful)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525641)

The new federal budget included a lot of nasties. As much as I'm glad to see the penny go away, I can't help but think it's a ploy by the conservatives to deflect attention away from all the nasties they included in the budget.

Re:Love It - even though I'm cynical about the int (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525699)

Anything about this site, blame the conservatives but on here we have closed minds.

Re:Love It - even though I'm cynical about the int (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525713)

And the deficit is still going to grow. It feels like the 80s, with the Tories. I don't know how the conservatives do it, but cut, cut, cut and still they grow the deficit. The liberals were able to weather the dotcom crash without deficit. Right now, these guys have just about undone all the work of the grits on the fiscal side of things. Cutting, cutting, cutting. I'd like to know where their money goes.

Re:Love It - even though I'm cynical about the int (2)

Fishchip (1203964) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525793)

We still have a Liberal deficit. It's called 'Victoria-class submarines/corporate penalties for cancelling original Sea King replacements'.

Re:Love It - even though I'm cynical about the int (3, Funny)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525825)

Hookers, blow, and maple syrup?

It'll save $11 million a year? (1, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525645)

That seems like a lot of inconvenience to go through for such a tiny return.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525695)

Carrying around a penny seems like a lot of inconvenience for 1 cent.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525763)

especially since each coin stays in circulation for up to 30 years [latimes.com] (last paragraph of the article).

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (1)

dittbub (2425592) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525867)

But in 30 years time the penny will probably cost even more to produce.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525889)

Oh please. When was the last 1980s penny you've seen? That's referring to dollar coins specifically.

(As if to mock me, the two coins in my wallet are a 1983 quarter and a 1985 dime. No pennies though!)

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39526051)

I have a 1974 penny and a 1983 penny in my wallet right now (completely random) as well as a scattering of other coins that range across from the 80s to last year.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (1)

MalHavoc (590724) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525907)

By 'circulation', you probably mean that pennies sit in mason jars or under couch cushions for 30 years.

I really wish we'd just do everything electronically. I hardly ever have physical cash on me. Everything here takes debit, CC, or some other form of electronic transaction, even our buses. Looking forward to not seeing the penny any more.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526087)

I wish I could handle all my money with the swipe of a card too, but that would mean sacrificing all anonymity of transactions (you think any government is going to allow yet another form of payment that can be laundered?), so I'll gladly continue to handle annoying, stinky physical money.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525847)

Well the inconvenience is decidedly temporary, whereas the savings are eternal.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39526077)

That seems like a lot of inconvenience to go through for such a tiny return.

It will end up costing the taxpayers *far* more -- as consumers.

Businesses won't mind rounding up, but aren't going to go for rounding down. So they'll raise prices by an average of 2-1/2 cents on everything.

You won't notice that the new system is costing more because it will be spread so thin. But then, the $11 million was spread really thin too.

Re:It'll save $11 million a year? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526081)

That seems like a lot of inconvenience to go through for such a tiny return.

OK, then mothball this for another decade...is $110 million enough justification for you, or should we make it two decades and $220 million? Of course, this is assuming that precious metal and manufacturing costs will not increase in the next 20 years, which would be a pretty sillly assumption to make.

When discussing the elimination of a process that has literally been going on for generations, it's best to look at the aggregate impact.

Cheap Source of Copper (1)

BennyB2k4 (799512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525649)

Pre-1996 Canadian pennies are 99% copper. Last I checked, the ones I'm saving (hoarding?) are worth 3.6c each.

It begins.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525653)

First the penny. Then the nickel. Then the dime. Then the quarter. Then the loonie. Then the twonie. Everything will eventually be in $5 increments.

Is there anything wrong with that? (2)

spook brat (300775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525735)

I think it's time our governments admitted that inflation over the past 20 years has made the penny worthless. We've long since abandoned the half penny, and good riddance. In 100 years it may be time to have $5 be the smallest unit. 3rd world countries deal with this on a regular basis, I think its just 1st world pride that's keeping us from following their example when it's obviously far past time.

Re:Is there anything wrong with that? (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525831)

If it's worthless, why are electronic transactions going to continue to be done to the penny?

Re:Is there anything wrong with that? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526039)

Why is gasoline still advertised at x&9/10/gallon?

The penny will stay as long as the president is from the Land of Lincoln.

Because it was never "worthless"! (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526129)

The point is, the penny wasn't worth the expense of minting it, and the hassle of carrying the extra coins around. Nobody said the penny was utterly worthless though. The cash transactions being rounded will surely wind up rounded UP to the next closest 5 cent mark, not DOWN, in almost all cases -- because merchants don't want to lose that 1-4 cents per transaction that adds up over a month's time.

Re:Is there anything wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525911)

It has nothing to do with pride. It is a bunch of curmudgeons in Congress too chicken sh*t to tell people to just round up. I think there is also a contingent that are of the opinion that rounding will lead to wide spread inflation.

Re:Is there anything wrong with that? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525995)

"20 years"?

Try "from time eternal." Inflation is a consequence of a perpetually growing economy. In of itself it's not a good thing or a bad thing. As long as other factors keep up, it just is. The US ditched the useless half-cent 150 years ago and we didn't devolve into an anarchistic Thunderdome... We'd survive losing the penny.

Re:It begins.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525761)

Except the nickel costs less to make than its worth.

Re:It begins.... (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525821)

Lucky Canadians. The US nickel costs more than 9 cents to mint, making it even worse than our 1-cent coin.

Re:It begins.... (3, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526003)

Actually, no it does not. The dime is currently the lowest denomination that, so far, costs less than its face value to produce. It costs roughly 7 cents to make a nickel (and only 4 cents to make a dime). For what it's worth, right now, quarters cost ten cents to produce, loonies about 15 cents, and twonies about 30 cents.

But coins are insanely expensive compared to bills. Printed paper bills cost about 10 cents each. The newer plastic bills that Canada has started to use cost about 19 cents to manufacture, but last more almost 3 times as long (the plastic can also be reused to print other bills later, so the cost on the polymer bills will probably drop over time, although it probably will not ever be as cheap as the paper ones are).

Re:It begins.... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525829)

Blame the Fed and other central banks for constantly increasing the money supply. The lowly penny has lost 97% of its value since 1920 (hence why it's now worth less than the cost of making it). Your grandparents' SAVINGS have lost 97% of their value since 1920.

And continue to lose value by about 3% per year. It's a hidden tax on your accumulated cash wealth. Time to End the fed and/or affix the dollar value to a fixed standard (like precious metal or land) that the Fed cannot alter. Cannot devalue.

Re:It begins.... (1)

LostOne (51301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526059)

It's not actually the central banks that are increasing the money supply. Its the *commercial* banks. You might not realize it but banks do not lend money they have on hand when they make a loan. They actually create the money they "lend" out of thin air. Thus it is *borrowing* that is increasing the money supply.

The central banks do contribute to this by buying government bonds (thus giving loans to the governments) but the vast majority of the money supply increase comes from things like mortgages.

It's not clear that a gold standard or similar would actually help matters. The reason for that is too complex to go into here but basically if you peg the currency to a commodity, you will either significantly limit or reverse inflation which will actually cause a complete economic collapse.

Check out http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/ [positivemoney.org.uk] for a decent explanation. (It's UK centric but the central bank structure is the same in most countries so the basic problem is the same.)

Re:It begins.... (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525879)

Shrug. We've already ditched $1 and $2 bills in favour of coins, and ditched 25 cent [cdnpapermoney.com] bills entirely. We've survived.

...laura

Re:It begins.... (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526127)

First the penny. Then the nickel. Then the dime. Then the quarter. Then the loonie. Then the twonie. Everything will eventually be in $5 increments.

Calm down. It's taken 100 years for anyone to even propose the elimination of the most pointless of those coins. We won't have to legislate the removal of the others. At this rate of legislation, we'll run out of metal to make them first.

DST (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525663)

Now all they need to do is get rid of daylight saving time and they will REALLY make the US look silly... come on fed, the Canadians are making us look like idiots here.... THEY can get rid of pennies....

Re:DST (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525731)

Now all they need to do is get rid of daylight saving time and they will REALLY make the US look silly

If you believe daylight savings time is the only thing keeping the US from looking silly, you're sadly mistaken.

Re:DST (4, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525813)

I think he was implying that daylight saving time was one of the reasons Canada looks silly (just like the US) and eliminating daylight saving time would make them look less silly.

No, all I need to make the US look silly are bunches of 3-letter acronyms: DHS and TSA to name two.

Re:DST (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525837)

I hearby proclaim DST to mean whatever I want it to mean! -- King George V

Re:DST (1)

psyque (1234612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526157)

Damn, I wish I had mod points for that one. Never have any when I need them.

Re:DST (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525783)

> come on fed, the Canadians

That is the Department of the Mint's problem, not the Fed. DST is someone else's problem entirely, at least partially each state's (ask Arizona or Hawaii, or once upon a time, Indiana about that).

About time! (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525665)

This should have been done 10 years ago. I don't hoard my change, I always keep it in my wallet and spend it as I go, often clearing it out completely every 2 months or so. This is probably the only thing Harper's done right since he got into office.

Good idea, take it further (4, Insightful)

spook brat (300775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525667)

When I was deployed to Iraq in '05 the smallest unit of change the PX would give was $0.25, and we all got by with that just fine. When the smallest coin a bubble gum machine will accept is a quarter there's no need for even my children to want any denomination smaller than that. The cost of manufacturing pennies, nickels, and dimes isn't worth the benefit. Add the cost banks and vendors incur in transporting these too-heavy-for-their-worth slabs of metal to the cost of their original manufacture and it's clearly a drain on the economy.

Happened in Brazil too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525701)

Some years ago it also happened in Brazil, the smallest coin now is the 5 cent.
At the time, the government alleged that it was more expensive to make it than it was worth, it was copper but I'm not sure if it was mixed with some other alloy. Before that it was stainless steel. I still have a jar full of it somewhere as a door stopper...

Oops (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525755)

First I've read "penises" and wondered what the headline means.

we do this already with euro's (1)

pieterbos (2218218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525809)

not a big deal, in quite a ew countries of the euro-area anything under 5 cent is hardly used and everything is rounded to 5 cents. Works fine...

How American. (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525835)

Noncash payments such as checks and credit cards will continue to be settled by the cent, however.

Us Canuckistanians tend to use debit for anything more than a few bucks. Timmies already makes sure their prices come out to a nice even number.

Good on them (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525849)

Pennies cost more to make than their worth, that can't be good for an economy or cash strapped government.
I wonder how Canadian retailers will price things now though. Instead of pricing something at $4.99, (to psychologically make you think it's $4 not $5) will they drop the price to $4.95 and lose 4 cents on every purchase, or just mark it up to an even $5.00? And yeah, even though that little trick doesn't work on most of us, it works on enough people that they keep doing it. Or at least US retailers do, I'm not sure about Canadian ones.

Like the scheme from Office Space (1)

Confusedent (1913038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525861)

Realistically I'd think larger companies will universally raise their prices just enough that they can round up. A assuming 1.25 cents per purchase over hundreds of thousands of purchases will actually add up, if you're doing lots of cash transactions.

This is good economics! (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525863)

1. Remove the penny, save $11m.
2. All prices now a multiple of 0.02, so divide by two
3. Reintroduce penny - lose $11m but all prices are now half what they were!

Oh? (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525873)

Rounding prices will become the norm

I can hear Billy Mays raging from his grave.

First read: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39525899)

Canada To Stop Making Ponnies

Rounded Up (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525957)

Rounding prices will become the norm as the penny is gradually removed from circulation, the budget says. If consumers find themselves without pennies, cash transactions should be rounded to the nearest five-cent increment 'in a fair and transparent manner,' it says.

My guess is it will always be rounded up when your paying, and when they are paying you, rounded down.

Purely a good thing (2)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39525959)

The penny should have gone some time ago, it's good that it's finally going away.

This will make exactly 1 difference, half of the stores will go from $3.98 to $3.95 and half will round to $4.

I'm fine with either, and since it will be about half and half it'll work out in the wash.

Crazy numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39526147)

So what if a highly reusable token with a face value of 1c costs 1.6c *to build*?

Leading with that clip makes me doubt our government will save the promoted $11 million, and while we're on that, will it produce any savings at all in our economy?

This is just more headline shenanigans by the Harper administration. Arguably being a democracy we deserve this, but please give us small credit because a hell of a lot more people did vote against the Conservatives than for them. These guys got a minority gov't from our riding system - they don't have popular support. But hey, didcha catch the game last night?

Oh, and that promoted government savings? Works out about a third of a cent per person to have that highly useful token for a year. It's a pathetically small figure, and that's without going into how it's kept within the economy with our own mint and mines. As promoted, this is batshit math all over.

I understand why, but... (1)

theshibboleth (968645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526155)

I understand why they might want to do this, but it seems like it takes a certain amount of slack out of the monetary system. Surely some things really aren't worth 5 cents more than others and would benefit from the in-between increments. On the other hand, unless governments periodically redefined their currencies (which has been done in the past) the built-in inflation of most countries will lead to the value of the physical material of the coinage being greater than its face value. Of course there's also been a push for cashless systems which limits one's ability to conduct transactions without the government or other people knowing about it.

So? (-1, Flamebait)

fatbuckel (1714764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526159)

It`s Canada. It`s not even a real country.

if they tried this in the USA (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526165)

can you imagine all the looney tunes shouting about Bilderberg this, world domination that, UN plot this, communist muslims that...

all countries have nut jobs, but what is it about my country that the nut jobs are so loud?

Value (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526169)

In the US, the dollar is now worth between 1% and 2% of its average value during the 1800s. By that measure, it would not be unreasonable to eliminate all coins below 50 cents.

This is strictly the fault of government (and Nixon more than anyone else) for decoupling the dollar from gold.

Simple Plan (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39526171)

1) Round all totals requiring 2 cents and below down to next lowest unit

2) Round all requiring 3 or 4 cents up to next unit

3) Monitor sales and adjust prices so most totals end in 3, 4, 8, or 9 cents

4)No ?

5) Profit!

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