Plan under way to gradually phase out one and two cent coins
One and two cent coins will officially be phased out of circulation over the coming months
The Central Bank has taken over the project after the Government yesterday decided that in future cash transactions involving these coins will in future be "rounded up" or "rounded down".
The decision follows a successful trial carried out in Wexford in 2013. Some 85pc of consumers and 100pc of traders said in a survey they believed "rounding" should happen across the country.
The main factor in the decision was the cost of c ontinually producing the coins, which exceeded their face value, while the bulk of them were kept in jars by people who could not be bothered with them.
A one cent coin costs 1.65c to produce while the two cent coin costs 1.94c. The Central Bank last night announced that the "rounding system" will be voluntary and details will be worked out with industry and traders' groups in the coming weeks.
The entire process is expected to take a matter of months. The coins will remain legal tender and the changes will only apply to cash transactions.
Officials have compiled a series of examples as to how the change will work. A purchase costing €10.21 or €10.22 would now be €10.20, while a transaction costing €10.23 or €10.24 would be rounded to €10.25.
Two individual items priced at €10.99 and €3.49 respectively would remain at these prices, though the total bill of €14.48 would be rounded up to €14.50.
Six EU countries already apply a "rounding" system.