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27 May 2022

McHugh's Miscellany: Is there any sense to the fractional cent?

McHugh's Miscellany: Is there any sense to the fractional cent?

I want to address something this week that is both laughable and really needs to be changed for the people of this country. 

Maybe everybody else thinks it is a perfectly normal situation for all of us to let pass. 

And I want to point out that this is a cultural or legal change and not aimed at individual petrol forecourt or group of forecourts, who are themselves struggling, with rapidly increasing prices and the ramifications of the Putin invasion of Ukraine. 

Indeed it is the classic retail magic trick, much like an optical illusion. 

Every single time that I’m on the road I see it. And that is the utter nonsense we face every time we go to get diesel or petrol at the garage or more likely the convenience store that is attached. 

Yes, the price is terrible I hear you say! 

And that may very well be the case with escalating wholesale prices increases invariably filter down to the customer but my beef is not the actual price of the fuel per-say, but the utter futility in the price display from the roadside being skewed so you think that it is a cent cheaper than it is. 

With the recent rapid rising on the county’s forecourts, I recently saw one station advertising both petrol and diesel at €1.99.9 cent per litre. 

What is the problem with just putting the price at the nearest cent.  

According to the Central Bank, as far back as Wednesday October 28 2015 'rounding' of cash transactions was rolled out nationally. 

This initiative, they say arose because 1c and 2c coins were not used actively then by consumers and are expensive to mint.

So let’s address the elephant in the room and get this anomaly sorted once and for all. 

It acts as a total disservice to the general public.

I often recall a useful piece of advise from my younger years - the problem with common sense is that it is not so common any more . . .   

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