After a trial in Wexford in 2013 – the government has now announced that ” price rounding” will be rolled out across Ireland to help reduce the amount of 1c and 2c coins.
Update : The start date of Price Rounding Confirmed
Price rounding will mean that all bills (cash payment only) will be rounded up or down to the nearest 5c – so for example a total bill of 10.01 or 10.02 will be rounded down to €10.00 and a bill of €10.03 or €10.04 will be rounded up to €10.05.
The Central Bank have said that there will still be 1c and 2c coins in circulation – they are not being abolished. They have also stated that rounding will be voluntary and will only apply to cash payments.
In the trial in Wexford about 230 businesses were involved and customers could opt out of the rounding by telling the cashier.
We all know that many items are priced at 49c or 99c or €1.99 – so , unless a customer opts out , these will all be rounded up when buying a single item.
Some charities have expressed dismay at the prospect of rounding – because they feel that the lack of 1c and 2c coins will mean there will be less donations in till side collection boxes.
Six other EU countries already have a similar rounding policy – these are The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hungary and Belgium.
In the Netherlands and Belgium it is optional and shops have signs on the tills saying that customers can opt out of the rounding. In Sweden ,Finland, Denmark and Hungary it is not optional.
Belgium made the change last year – and at the time the ECB said …. “With a view to preserving the unity and integrity of the single monetary area, the ECB therefore recommends that any rounding rules are established in a harmonised manner at Union, rather than national level,”
Fact: A 1 cent coin costs 1.65c to produce while 2 cent coin costs 1.94c.