Skip to main content

Finance: Disadvantaged

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to promote financial literacy among socially excluded groups. (143859)

The Government have taken significant steps to promote financial literacy for socially excluded groups. For example, in November 2006, the Department for Education and Skills revised the Sure Start Children’s Centre good practice guidance to encourage Children’s Centres to offer more financial education for parents. The Government also promotes financial skills for adults with poor literacy and numeracy through its ‘Skills for Life’ strategy and through the National Reducing Re-offending Delivery Plan, which has a commitment to address financial literacy for offenders.

Integrating financial literacy across a range of public services, particularly those aimed at the most vulnerable, is one of the Government’s long term aspirations set out in “Financial Capability: the Government’s long-term approach”, which was published in January 2007.

The Government have also asked Otto Thoresen, Chief Executive of AEGON UK, to design a national approach to generic financial advice. The Thoresen review terms of reference place particular emphasis on meeting the needs of those most vulnerable to the consequences of poor financial decision-making, including socially excluded groups.

The Government will publish an action plan on financial capability, including the outcome of the Thoresen review, early next year.

The Government also continues to tackle financial exclusion—promoting access to banking and other financial services, affordable credit and money advice. As part of the Government’s financial inclusion strategy, the Department of Work and Pensions’ £5.4 million “Now Let’s Talk Money” campaign is working through trusted intermediaries—such as housing associations, community groups and charities—to provide financially excluded people with the information, advice and support they need to take up financial services products.