To round up or down Treasury seeks to answer the euro question

16 Dec 99
A code of practice is being drawn up by the Treasury to try to avoid major disputes if prices need to be converted from pounds to euros.

17 December 1999

Roger Hargreaves, who is in charge of public sector changeover plans in the Treasury's euro preparations unit, warned civil servants this week that the issue of whether prices and charges should be rounded up or down was likely to create public tension, unless everybody did the same thing.

'We must make people feel that they are not being conned or losing out,' he told a Capita conference on the euro and central government on December 13.

The code, which will only be introduced if the UK adopts the euro, would apply to benefits paid by public sector bodies as well as prices charged by commercial retailers.

All but one UK government department had produced changeover plans since Prime Minister Tony Blair announced a national changeover strategy last February, added

Hargreaves. These are being studied to see how much work each department still needs to do ahead of any UK referendum.

He did not reveal which department had failed to meet the Treasury's timescale for submitting plans.


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