Several years ago I had a long conversation with a senior executive of a large vending machine company and I expressed disbelief at what he told me.
However, I now realise that he was telling the truth that the periodic tweaking of our national currency raises millions of pounds for the government in VAT revenues which are charged on all conversions of vending machines and indeed any coin in the slot machines.
Think how many there are in the UK and you’ll get the idea of what sums are involved. Tens of millions of pounds in fact.
Think back to when they changed the sizes of the 5p and 10p and then the pointless exercise of slightly reducing the 50p piece.
They just don’t fiddle about with their currency like this in the USA.
The latest excuse to change the currency is that the price of steel is much lower than cupro-nickel and thus the change has to be made.
Is it really beyond the wit and ingenuity of designers and engineers to create a coin of identical thickness and weight which will operate in existing machines? I doubt it.
Yet another moneyspinner for the Government and someone else foots the bill.
If this was done in the private sector it would be referred to as a ‘scam’.
HJ Greaves, S7