HC Deb 12 December 1974 vol 883 c751
15. Mr. Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to withdraw the 2½p coin from circulation.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

The position is being kept under review. No decision is likely in the immediate future.

Mr. Lipton

It has been under review for a long time. When will the Government make up their mind to phase out this obsolete relic of the predecimal coinage? Is my hon. Friend aware that if the coins are withdrawn from circulation the Government will make a vast profit, because most of them will not be surrendered but will be used for making trinkets, bracelets, and that sort of thing?

Mr. Sheldon

I am interested in my hon. Friend's suggestions for the Government to make large profits. The coin has a useful, though limited, rôle still to play. Obviously, the matter will be reconsidered, but in various surveys people have made known their preference for the continuation of the coin. As long as that remains the case the Government intend to keep the coin in existence.

Mr. Tebbit

How long will it be, at the present rate of inflation, before the hon. Gentleman has to withdraw the 5p coin, as being of no use in our commercial transactions?

Mr. Sheldon

The hon. Gentleman is mistaken. It is a useful coin. It is used considerably, as is all the other coinage, and will continue to be in use.