Bin for a penny? Save our loose change say charities

Pennies crop

Donations will dip if pennies are binned say charities

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15th March 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Plans to ditch 1 and 2p coins could hit charities in the pocket.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond, in his Spring Statement this week, announced a consultation on the role of cash and digital payment in the UK’s economy.

One of the things being looked at is consigning 1p and 2p coins and £50 notes to history.

But there are concerns that losing the loose change would lead to a reduction in charitable donations.

That’s because coins are a popular way of donating, particularly through bucket collections, but also through devices that turn pennies into vouchers at supermarkets, which contain a charity donation option.

Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "Cash is still by far the most common way people donate to charity, so the forecast in HM Treasury’s consultation document on cash and digital payments, suggesting that cash transactions will more than halve from 12 billion transactions a year to 5.8 billion between 2016 and 2026, could have a real impact on charities if people carry less cash to give away.

"A consultation on cash is a good opportunity for government and charities to work together to embrace new technologies and ensure the decline of cash doesn’t get in the way of people’s desire to be generous."

Steve Reed, the UK shadow minister for civil society, called on the government to retain 1p and 2p coins.

He said: "Cash is the most popular way for people to donate to charities, and much of that comes in small change like 1p and 2p coins.

"If the government goes ahead with this, it will directly hit the vulnerable people who rely on charities to feed, clothe, house and care for them. The government must think again."

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs at the Institute of Fundraising, said: "there is likely to be an important and ongoing role for cash payments for a range of fundraising activities" and that charities and donors "benefit from being able to use a diverse range of payment methods".

In the wider economy, with the rise of contactless, cash payments have fallen from 62% of all payments by volume in 2006 to 40% in 2016, and the consultation says that it is likely to fall to 21% by 2026.