Following a report from the Bank of England stating that the removal of 1p and 2p coins would cause “no economically significant impact on inflation”, CEO of Bacta John White and president of Euromat Jason Frost rushed on to local and national radio to set the record straight.
Removing the 2p would “decimate the industry”, according to operator and
Euromat president Jason Frost, who teamed-up with CEO of Bacta John White last week to defend the low denomination coins for the second time in six months.
This time it was the Bank of England turning up the pressure on 1p and 2p coins,publishing data showing their removal would have “no economically significant impact on inflation”. In March earlier this year, the Treasury opened the debate by questioning the future existence of 1p and 2p coins, inspiring White to take to national radio to defend the denominations. On Thursday, he was forced onto the airwaves once more as the 2p coin came under further attack from Bank of England analysts Marilena Angeli and Jack Meaning, whose report showed that the removal of 1p and 2p coins would only, at worst, cause a one-off bump in inflation. While that might be right, White – this time joined by Frost – was quick to remind BBC Three Counties radio host Jonathan Vernon-Smith that 2p coins are still of vital importance to the seaside sector.
“The 2p machine coin pusher – the thing that we all know and love and remember from our childhood – is the mainstay of those businesses, combined with those crane grab machines in many cases they can represent 50 percent of the income to the arcade,”he explained. “If you take the 2p away, you are effectively taking away the pusher. If you are taking away the pusher, then you are taking away income that keeps the arcade going. And if the arcade goes,then the economic impact for some of the most deprived seaside resorts in the country would be quite significant – so it’s as serious as that.”
The following Saturday, Jason Frost spoke to Paddy O’Connell on BBC Radio 2, reinforcing White’s points, but also making his own in response to the suggestion that amusements should find an alternative payment method.
“One of the problems that we have in the amusements industry – which contributes £1.9bn to annual GDP – is that we are one of the only industries in the country that are not allowed to use card payment,” commented Frost. “We’ve tried tokens, we’ve tried old pennies, but the customer wants to play with cash. If the 2p was removed it would decimate the industry.”
While both radio hosts expressed light-hearted concerns over small coins causing “bulky wallets”, White made sure to remind listeners that 2p pushers are“low cost fun for families ”who can“ play on these machines for half an hour and not have spent 20p” – before recommending that Vernon-Smith save his small coins in a jar, to be spent on a day of amusements at the Great British seaside.