Stat of the day: £8m

The amount the Treasury hopes to save by introducing new, steel-based 5p and 10p coins.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
When is a 10p not a 10p? When it costs just a fifth of a penny to produce. Well, sort of: the Treasury is hoping to save somewhere between £7m and £8m by replacing 10p and 5p coins, which currently cost about 4.5p to make, with new, nickel-free, steel-based versions. It's the first time the metal content in coins has been changed since 1947, when the Treasury removed the silver from one- and two-shilling coins. So with the national debt busting the £1tn mark and now steel coinage, hard times are really upon us...

Of course, it's not going to be easy: when the new coins come into circulation at Easter, they'll be 11% thicker - which is going to hurt operators of the nation's 462,000 vending machines to the tune of £80m. And although the plans have been in place since 2010, there are concerns that some rural machines - particularly coin-operated parking meters - have yet to be updated. Which means parking might be about to become even more frustrating...

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