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Spare our change - charities and seaside amusements raise concerns over Treasury’s copper coin consultation

PUBLISHED: 17:24 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:24 14 March 2018

Johnny and Charlie Manning in their arcade.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Johnny and Charlie Manning in their arcade. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Charities and seaside amusement arcades have raised concerns about the Treasury’s consultation on the use of copper coins.

Oscar enjoying the 2p game at Mannings  Amusements.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNOscar enjoying the 2p game at Mannings Amusements. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Government department is asking for views on the use of cash as the market moves towards digital transactions, although ministers have said there are no current plans to ditch the low value coins.

But concerns have been raised on the impact of removing 1p and 2p coins from circulation - with charities and seaside amusement arcades saying it could affect their income.

Carole Thain, marketing and fundraising manager at Suffolk Mind said losing small currency would make it more difficult for people to give to charity, especially those who are on a budget already,.

She said : “One of the main things we have are collection buckets and tins where people are able to be generous in what they give.

Oscar and Chris having a go on one of the 2p machines.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNOscar and Chris having a go on one of the 2p machines. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“In terms of collection buckets, the main proportion of that will be loose change.”

Jo Reeder, head of fundraising and marketing for Age UK Suffolk, added: “Often these pots are filled with people’s loose change from their pocket or purse, and these coins would often be “coppers”.

“Over the last year, we have raised over £5,000 in collections, which is a significant part of our fundraising income – in a climate where there is more and more pressure on charities to generate their income from non-statutory sources, this could have an enormous effect on many hundreds of local charitable causes”.

Charlie Manning, owner of Mannings Amusements in Felixstowe, said some of his machines work rely on loose change.

Charlie and Johnny Manning in their arcade.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCharlie and Johnny Manning in their arcade. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We don’t have many 1p machines so it is more the 2p machines that would be affected.

“We have got customers who have saved up their 2ps for the year in a big bottle and come down to play with them. I think at the moment it is a long way off.”

He said that people may still be able to use the machines, using the old currency as tokens.

“I think even if they took 2ps out of circulation we would still be able to use them. We could keep them in house and they could act as a token, a playing chip.”

The Treasury’s report said that surveys suggest that six in ten 1p and 2p coins are used in a transaction just once before they leave the cash cycle.

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