HC Deb 25 April 1972 vol 835 cc1263-4
16. Mr. Sydney Chapman

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he remains satisfied with the working of the decimal coinage system since its introduction; and whether he has reached any conclusions in his consideration of possible changes in the numbers, sizes, values and metal contents of the coins.

Mr. Nott

Yes. As already announced, the future of the 2½p coin will come under consideration early next year and we shall keep under review the demand for an intermediate denomination between the 10 and 50 new pence coins.

Mr. Chapman

As it costs twice as much to mint £1 worth of 2 new pence pieces as compared with £1 worth of old sixpences, and there is public demand to keep the old sixpenny coin, will my hon. Friend consider keeping the old sixpence as the new 2½ new pence piece and phasing out the 2 new pence piece rather than vice versa, which is the intention?

Mr. Nott

My hon. Friend knows from the answer given to him on 18th April that it is cheaper to mint the 2½p coin than the 2p coin, but the paramount factor is public demand for various denominations. At present there are almost twice as many 2p coins in circulation as 2½p coins.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

Will my hon. Friend celebrate his appointment to the Treasury by reintroducing a 50p note, which would lighten our pockets?

Mr. Nott

My hon. Friend knows from previous answers that the note only has a life of a few months and that one of the principal reasons for introducing the 50p coin is that it has a life of many years. I do not think, therefore, that his suggestion is acceptable.