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Personal Savings

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on the promotion of long-term personal savings in the UK. (265179)

The Government recognise the importance of savings and assets in providing people with independence throughout their lives, security if things go wrong and comfort in retirement.

The Government have improved incentives to save by introducing Individual Savings Accounts and Child Trust Funds. Meanwhile, the Saving Gateway will be introduced nationally in 2010 to promote saving among working age people on lower incomes. The Government have also legislated for reforms to the private pensions system that will encourage and enable more people to save for their retirement. The reforms include a duty on employers to automatically enrol all eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension and, for the first time, employers will also be required to contribute to workers pensions. In addition, personal accounts will be introduced to give those currently without access to a good quality workplace pension scheme—in particular, low to moderate earners—the opportunity to save.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will hold discussions with UK financial institutions on the competitiveness of their savings products and the incentives they offer to savers. (265180)

Competitiveness in banking and other markets is governed by competition law and overseen by the Office for Fair Trading and the Competition Commission. Savers can ensure they get the best possible income from their savings by shopping around. The Financial Services Authority publishes comparative tables of savings accounts and the interest rates as part of its Money Made Clear initiative.