14/03/2018 16:50 GMT | Updated 14/03/2018 16:51 GMT

Pennies Saved By Theresa May Just 24 Hours After They Were Threatened

The fastest u-turn in Spring statement history?

Rachel Husband via Getty Images

Pennies have been saved by Downing Street, just 24 hours after the Government threatened to abolish lower value coins.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman today confirmed 1p and 2p coins would not be axed, thanks to the outcry to the plan when it was suggested on Tuesday.

The Treasury revealed getting rid of the coins – as well as the £50 note – were part of a consultation on the role of cash in the increasingly digitalised economy.

Several newspapers feature the threat to the penny piece on their front pages, overshadowing the increase in economic growth revealed in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring statement.

After Tuesday’s statement, Downing Street initially refused to confirm the penny was “safe” under Theresa May’s premiership.

Just 24 hours later, her spokesman said: “There are no proposals to scrap one or two pence coins in the consultation that the Treasury issued yesterday.

“The call for evidence is simply intended to enable the Government to better understand the role of cash and digital payments in the new economy.

“One thing the Treasury were seeking views on is whether the current denominational mix of coins meets the public’s needs.

“From the early reaction, it looks as if it does.

“The Government welcome all contributions to the debate and will respond fully after the call for evidence closes on the 6th June.”

The u-turn is reminiscent of Government action after financial statements made by then-Chancellor George Osborne. 

The so-called ‘pasty tax’, ‘granny tax’ and cuts to personal independence payments were call axed after public outcry following Budgets and statements by Osborne.