Sydney is set to phase out the humble $50 note over the next few months after widespread complaints that the denomination lovingly known as a “pineapple” is not worth enough to purchase anything in Sydney.
Sydney isn’t the first city to consider canning the $50 note, according to The Royal Australian Mint.
“Perth had the same problem during the mining boom, when a builder’s tea, which consists of an English breakfast teabag, milk and nine sugars, would cost up to $700,” a spokesperson said. “However, our data tells us things will only get more expensive in Sydney and it’s time to recall the fifties, add a zero and reissue them as $500 notes.”
Frustrated small-business owners agree the $50 note needs to go. “If diners want to use cash, they need a whole wheelbarrow full of fifties to pay the bill, and up to seven wheelbarrows if they want smashed avo,” one café owner said.
While $50 notes are being recalled and repurposed, the government has urged people to simply discard “irredeemable” smaller denominations, with fire pits being dug in key locations across the city’s southwest.
Vaucluse residents are set to protest the phasing out of the $100 note after the government flagged a review of the country’s highest-denomination banknote in a bid to crack down on the “black economy”.
There are currently 300 million $100 notes in circulation, with 97 per cent found in the wallets of Vaucluse residents.
“This is blasphemous,” one Vaucluse man said. “There’s no way my wallet could fit enough fifties to pay for day-to-day expenses. I’d have to have one of my servants tow a wheeled cart full of notes everywhere I go, which would obviously be ridiculous.”
“You can hardly buy a coffee with a $50 note, let alone a side of lobster!” another outraged local said. “If anything, they should scrap the $20 note. That thing is embarrassing.”
The government is determined to do whatever it is the wealthy residents request.
Redfern local Peter Panner today spoiled his weekend before it even started when he accidentally pressed “check balance” while withdrawing cash from an ATM this morning.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Panner said. “I always take an ostrich-style approach to finances, so when that negative balance popped up on screen two weeks from payday I nearly browned the new Gucci jeans I shouldn’t have bought.”
Sydney Sentinel’s money expert described Panner’s story as “a cautionary tale we can all learn from”.
“I’ve seen far too many weekends ruined by people discovering just how bad their finances really are,” he said. “It really is a case of ignorance is bliss and why wouldn’t you choose bliss when it’s an option?”
He added that there are simple things we can all do to avoid inflicting these kinds of rude financial shocks on ourselves. “Be extra careful when using an unfamiliar ATM,” he said. “Take your time and make sure you’re pressing the correct buttons.”
A Sydney-based Uber driver is “ecstatic” to have almost made this month’s loan payment for the car he had to purchase to qualify for the job.
“I’m so happy I almost bought myself a can of beer to celebrate,” the driver said. “But then I realised I still had lots of bills for bottled water and mints to pay, so I just drove home with the air con on and the music slightly louder than usual.”
His family is thrilled the man left his previous job as a kindergarten teacher, where the short hours meant “he was always home”, his wife said. “He’s now out of the house a good 20 to 23 hours a day, which really gives me back my me time.”
A shirtless male who was present when the Sydney Sentinel interviewed the wife described himself as “nobody” and “not here” but said he was also “very happy with the situation”.