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Government delays introduction of new coins

24 February 2011

The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) has been told by Justine Greening, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, that the implementation of the new 5p and 10p coins will be delayed until 1st January 2012.

Successful lobbying  has resulted in the Government delaying its planned new coins allowing the vending and coin machine industries more time to update coin mechanisms, and providing a saving of £16.8m to the vending industry alone.
Last October the Government decided to implement The Royal Mint’s proposals to save some £10m on the metal used in its 5p and 10p coinage in a move that would have cost the vending machine industry £millions. Rather than continue with the mix of copper and nickel, the Royal Mint wants to change to the cheaper nickel-coated steel and the new coinage would have become legal tender from January this year. However strong lobbying by the Automatic Vending Manufacturers Association (AVMA) has won through. They argued that the new coins are wider than their current equivalents which meant that every vending machine, parking meter and coin operated phone box would have to have its mechanism changed or adjusted. There are estimated to be 500,000 vending machines in the UK, and about 200,000 pay phones. According to Jonathan Hilden, chairman of the AVMA, an engineer’s visit can cost about £100 per machine to either make a software change or remove and re-engineer the coin mechanism. The costs to vending machiner operators alone was estimated at £43m.
Speaking of their lobbying success, Jonathan Hilder said, "I’m absolutely delighted that this constructive dialogue with the Royal Mint and the Treasury has resulted in this common sense approach which is vital to the vending and other coin using industries. It’s a great sign that our economic arguments are being listened to and that with the right approach we can change policies that harm our industry. The Association’s established working relationships with both the Royal Mint and the Treasury will continue to be developed over the coming years, and will see further dividends in exploring how we can work together to reduce counterfeit £1 coins. It will also provide a better conduit of information for the Treasury and the Government to assist their understanding the vending industry of Great Britain."
As the trade association for the £1.65bn refreshment vending industry, the AVA comprises over 200 member companies who service some 500,000 vending machines in Britain.
See PFM’s news report in October 2010
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