Penny for Your Thoughts?

Back in July, I had the pleasure of traveling to Sydney, Australia for the World Youth Day events. Now, documenting that experience is a post for another day. Today, I want to outline something that is proving to be very annoying here in North America, that the people “down under” don’t have to deal with. Pennies.

I know it sounds weird, to get frustrated over a few little pieces of copper, but think about it: they cost more to make than they’re worth, they take up a lot of room in your pocket/wallet, and almost no one uses them, so they pile up, unnecessarily. Surely, there must be a better way.

Well, there is, and this is what I’m getting at. The Australian government has discontinued pennies as legal tender, and instead rounded up (always up) the sticker price of items in stores to the nearest factor of $0.05. I presume that you’re thinking “Up?! But that’s more expensive! How is that better?” Don’t worry, they’ve thought of that. To balance costs for the consumer, they’ve reduced sales tax to roughly 10%. I think that’s something that most people can be happy with.

I just think that this a great system that’s convenient for everyone.

Do you think something like this would work in Canada/US?

6 thoughts on “Penny for Your Thoughts?

  1. Well,
    I just want to say that I’m still very jealous about Sydney. I don’t use pennies anyway, so it doesn’t phase me.


  2. I think you’re right. I’ve heard the idea come up a few times already, and I think that the second the USA puts it’s weight behind it, Canada will.
    when I travelled to England all the advertised prices of items included tax. how I wish Canada did this…. I hate not knowing exactly how much I am actually going to pay at the checkout. honestly, I don’t know why we do it the way we do.

  3. Ana, I saw the same thing when I traveled to Germany a few years ago. I once asked a provincial conservative politician why we couldn’t do the same thing, and he told me that it was because the ticket price as it exists advertises the value of the item. If sales tax were represented on the tag, it would be false advertising. I understand this reasoning, but it doesn’t stop them from putting a second price beneath it.

  4. Murley,

    One problem:

    Our GST/PST or HST in Canada is already quite low. Cutting it further in this economic climate might be unwise for government.

    As there are better taxes to cut anyway (with the NDP and Libs on that)… And overall, the rounding up with balancing scheme still doesn’t seem to ‘balance’ as perfectly as you make it appear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *