The Treasury has today announced a raft of new measures to help struggling households deal with their financial problems.
The joint initiative, in conjunction with the FSA, aims to give consumers more access to free advice to help them become more confident with money matters.
The Financial Capability Action Plan, announced by chief secretary to the Treasury, Yvette Cooper, and chief executive of the FSA, Hector Sants, forms part of the Government’s efforts to deal with strained household finances.
Major initiatives in the plan include expanding the FSA’s Moneymadeclear website and consumer helpline to give specialist advice on debt problems, mortgages and utility bills, as well as expanded information for first time buyers. The website will receive heavy promotion after the summer.
The Government will also provide £12m to deliver a Money Guidance service in the North of England. The service is already being trialled in a selection of Citizens Advice Bureaux.
Lastly, the Government and the FSA are providing a total of £27.5m to provide financial education in schools.
Commenting on the action plan, Yvette Cooper says: "Many families are feeling the pinch as a result of high fuel and food prices, and the impact of the credit crunch on mortgage lending.
“But when people are facing money worries they often don't know where to turn. We need to make it much easier for people to get access to information, help and advice.”
However, many advisers have criticised the Moneymadeclear website for failing to provide important details about certain products, particularly mortgages, and say face-to-face advice is likely to be more beneficial to consumers in difficulty.
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