The Treasury today launched a £76m free face-to-face money advice service as part of a £135m plan to promote financial inclusion.
The new service will be run as part of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) money advice initiative which has already recruited and trained over 500 new money advisers and helped over 66,000 clients with debt problems.
Through the plan, the Government aims for everyone in the UK to have access to the financial system and manage their finances by 2008-11.
New initiatives will include £12m to fund dedicated staff to work to promote financial inclusion locally, with a focus on increasing the availability and awareness of home contents insurance for low-income people, in particular in areas affected by the recent flood events.
There will also be £38m to increase consumer access to affordable credit through credit unions and other third sector lenders.
Access to banking, money advice for prisoners and helping people save for Christmas are other areas of focus. A team will also continue its work cracking down on loan sharks in the UK.
Commenting on the plan, economic secretary to the Treasury Kitty Ussher says: "Exclusion from the financial system brings real costs, often borne by those who can least afford them. This is why promoting financial inclusion continues to be a key priority for the Government as part of its commitment to fairness and social justice.
"It is not acceptable that anyone, but particularly the most vulnerable members of our society, should face costs which could easily be avoided.”IFAonline
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