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The government is to move ahead with plans which will pave the way for the Royal Mint to be privatised.
The Mint, which produces all UK coins, is based in Llantrisant in South Wales.
The Treasury said it was being given company status in preparations for an injection of private cash to "pursue further commercial opportunities".
Unions and politicians accused the government of "selling off the family silver", saying the move would lead to job losses among the 70 staff.
"now a strong case for the introduction of private capital into the Royal Mint".
"cement the Royal Mint's position as a high-quality British manufacturing success, competing and winning in global markets".
"We have seen the impact of botched privatisations and IT outsourcing in areas such as passports, the Criminal Records Bureau and Tax Credits, resulting in the government bailing out the private sector at a cost of millions to the taxpayer."