Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Canada, I love you, but losing the 1cent coin seems foolish...

Canada Gets Rid of the Penny (Huzzah!) - GraphJam: Music and Pop Culture in Charts and Graphs. Let us explain them.

I can't be as excited about this as I thought I would be before watching the video. It seems to me that low income families will be disproportionately disadvantaged by this change. Less likely to have a credit card and more lively to make regular small purchases rather than a weekly/monthly 'big shop,' these families will face the rounding up or down more often than everyone else. Little kids getting their daily after-school candy of 13 1cent jelly sweets will spend the rest of the school year paying 15cents for these 13 candies, 10cents a week more, 40 cents a month - that is a lot of extra candies these kids could be enjoying if not for this policy change. 1cent stamps to upgrade old postage to new higher rates will now be...FREE??? No, I expect they will require multi-purchases to round up. No more small enterprise commodity exchange, we're now part of the Bulk-Buy Bonanza.

So, no more chances to purchase 1cent items in small quantities.

These low income families on a budget may in fact buy the SAME BASKET OF GOODS regularly; if each day they are buying $2.33 worth of groceries but paying $2.35, then by the end of the year they've lost 2centsx365 = £7.30, half a week's groceries. Not a lot, granted, but no amount of money lost as a result of government changes is good.

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