Vendors shun 'red money'
If it were left up to a group of vendors on West Queens Street in downtown Kingston, they would immediately cease the production of $1 coins and remove them from circulation.
Already the Government has decided to remove the one-cent, 10-cent and 25-cent coins from circulation. This is welcome news for the vendors, who said the 'red monies' and the $1 coins are nuisances.
"Dem nuh have nuh value," Hermine said yesterday. She said that in addition to the coins having no value, persons have been reluctant to use them for transactions.
"Only $5, $10 and $20 me a guh tek. Nobody nah tek nuh $1 from yuh again, not even on bus," Hermine added.
Another vendor, Monica, said she hardly collects 'red money' as change, and on the occasions when she does, she throws them away.
"I don't know how much dem value. Nobody take it from me, unless me go to the supermarket, and I hardly go to the supermarket, just the wholesales," Monica said.
She said that she has a huge cache of $1 coins at home because people refuse to take them from her.
"The $20 and the $10 can stay. We don't need the others cause them not valuable," she said.
"The $1 nuh value nutten. Dem nuh have anything pon shelve weh cost $1. It nuh mek sense," said Pansy.
The vendors said that persons refuse to take the lower value coins from them.
Information Minister Ruel Reid said that the use of the one-cent, 10-cent and 25-cent coins has been decreasing since 2005. He also said that the cost of producing the coins has consistently exceeded their face value.
Despite the fact that persons appear not to be using the coins for transaction purposes, one vendor said that she has heard stories of people picking them up, saving them and later exchanging them for bank notes.
"When I get them, I either throw it in my bag or throw it in the house, but me nuh know what happen to it," Pauline said.
She said that she insists on collecting her change, but she does not pay attention to it once she recognises them to be 'red money'.