Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bloomberg is reporting Canada’s latest proposed budget includes phasing out pennies this year.“Pennies take up too much space on our dressers at home,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in the text of his budget speech in Ottawa. “They take up far too much time for small businesses trying to grow and create jobs.”
Bloomberg’s Jacqueline Thorpe writes that the move, announced today in parliament’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, is designed to save taxpayers about C$11 million ($11 million) annually.
It will also force businesses to round prices.
But business groups have apparently welcomed the move, Thorpe reports. A 2006 study showed that penny circulation was creating a C$150 million-drag on the economy, she writes, adding it costs the government C1.6 to manufacture the copper-plated zinc specie.
“If businesses round cash transactions to the nearest five- cent increment, any gains or losses relating to cash transactions (a maximum of two cents per transaction) will balance out over time,” the budget states.
Wikipedia has a shocking list of other countries who’ve taken similar measures. Sweden is practically coinless, according to the site.