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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 22/01/2020

The Government has unveiled a 10-year plan that aims to help millions of consumers struggling financially.

The Money & Pensions Service (MaPS), a Government agency, has stated that over the next decade it plans to create a nation of savers, while also reducing the number of consumers who are regularly using credit to pay for food and bills. Data released by MaPS found that a worrying 11.5 million consumers currently have less than £100 in savings to fall back on if they found themselves in financial difficulties and that nine million often use credit to pay for food or essential bills.

In addition to tackling a lack of savings and the reliance of credit to pay for everyday essentials, MaPS is also aiming to increase the number of children and young people getting a meaningful financial education, to ensure that more people are getting the debt advice they need and to raise awareness about the need to save for retirement.

Commenting on the 10-year plan MaPS has set out, Caroline Siarkiewicz, acting chief executive at MaPS, said: “Financial wellbeing underpins personal health and happiness but it doesn’t happen by chance. We’re launching a strategy for entire lifetimes, aiming to expand financial education for children while ensuring everyone is equipped to plan for and enjoy their retirement. Key initiatives include increasing the availability of affordable credit, more payroll savings products and an expansion of free debt advice for when people are in crisis.

“The Money and Pensions Service will be the catalyst for a financial wellbeing movement, transforming how people engage with their money and pensions. We have a decade to make a difference and we cannot achieve change alone, so we will be connecting companies, charities and other organisations which share our vision, to make this happen.”

Financial wellbeing study

In addition to this, first direct has revealed that its study into the impact of finances on consumer health found that the UK had an overall money wellness score of just 47 out of 100 and that, irrespective of income, many consumers report low levels of money wellness. In fact, the study found that nearly half (48%) of all people aged 18-55 reported feeling anxious about money, while a third (32%) said that financial worries resulted in them struggling to sleep.

Referring to the study, Joe Gordon, head of first direct, said: “In a constantly changing world, taking time to focus on our personal wellbeing is becoming ever more important. However, while money has an intrinsic link with our emotional state of mind, money wellness is about having a healthy relationship with money and this can look different from person to person.

“Consciously and unconsciously, we’re all impacted by different factors every day, and our attitudes to money are constantly being shaped. Through this Index we hope to challenge some of the negative preconceptions people have towards money, to help encourage and empower people to have a positive money wellness mindset.”


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