A redesign for the pound coin that takes inspiration from the threepenny bit - but what’s your verdict?
- Credit: Archant
The pound as we know it will be replaced with a new coin with echos of the threepenny bit, Chancellor George Osborne will announce today.
In his annual budget Mr Osborne will claim the new 12-sided piece will be the most secure coin in circulation in the world, after the current pound, which is more than three decades old, has become more vulnerable to ever more sophisticated counterfeiters.
The Royal Mint estimates that about 45 million £1 coins are now forgeries - about 3pc of the total number in circulation. The government will launch a consultation and expects to introduce it in 2017.
Mr Osborne said: 'With advances in technology making high-value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it's vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency.
'I am particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting edge British technology while at the same time, paying a fitting tribute to past in the 12-sided design of the iconic threepenny bit'.
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Ahead of the announcement today, Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, warned that it was important that any potential change was effectively planned and managed in order to minimise costs for business.
Kelvin Reynolds, director of policy and public affairs at the British Parking Association, welcomed the move adding: 'Parking Operators have long expressed concerns about a rise in counterfeit £1 coins and the inconvenience this causes to motorists when coins are rejected by parking payment machines and the losses incurred as a result.'
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Chief executive of the Royal Mint Adam Lawrence said the project could potentially change the way that coins are made in the future.
'The current £1 coin design is now more than 30 years old and it has become increasingly vulnerable to counterfeiting over time. It is our aim to identify and produce a pioneering new coin which helps to reduce the opportunities for counterfeiting, helping to boost public confidence in the UK's currency in the process,' he added.
Meanwhile, it is also being reported that tax on Bingo halls will be cut from 20pc to 15pc in the Budget, in a bid to woo the game's legions of female fans.
Bingo players and business owners from East Anglia have been lobbying the government to reduce tax paid by clubs to 15pc – like many other forms of gambling.