HL Deb 18 November 2004 vol 666 cc207-8WA
Lord Brightman

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have considered the issue of a £5 coin of size and weight comparable to that of the disused half-crown coin; and [HL4997]

What, in terms of buying power, was the equivalent in 1939 to the present £5; and [HL4998]

Whether it is the case that not all shopkeepers and banks accept payment by means of the recently issued £5 coins; and [HL4999]

Whether they consider that the recently issued £5 coins are suitable for day-to-day use. [HL5000]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The £5 crowns are issued to commemorate special occasions of national importance and are not intended to be used in general circulation. Rather they are something which people wish to keep as souvenirs to mark a special occasion. However, the coins are given legal tender status by Royal Proclamation and some shops accept them, although they are not obliged to do so. Thus as there are no plans to issue a £5 coin for general circulation, no consideration has been given to change its current specification.

Taking account of inflation over the period, the purchasing power of £5 today would be the equivalent of around 2 shillings and sevenpence in 1939.