Last month the prime minister gave a speech on the ‘life chances’ of people in poverty. As part of this he announced that government would create a ‘Help to Save’ scheme, to encourage low income households to build up a ‘rainy day’ fund. Full details are due to be announced in next month’s budget. There is no doubt that households need to be supported to save. Around one in five low income adults have no savings, a figure that has risen significantly since 2011 as real wages have stagnated; the use of zero hours contracts have increased, and welfare benefits cut. Those that already save tend to have little more than a few hundred pounds, and many are forced to turn to high cost lenders to fund essential items. There is an obvious contradiction between Cameron’s ambitions to help the poorest increase their savings while benefits are being reduced. But … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Damon Gibbons is director of the Centre for Responsible Credit.
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