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Savings policy a "missed opportunity"

18th March 2015

In response to today’s Budget, Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity said: 


“Today’s announcement on savings is a missed opportunity to address the lack of the right incentives for low-income households to save. We know that savings of just £1,000 could protect 500,000 households from falling into problem debt [1]. But tax incentives, such as those announced today[2], for those already paying little tax will do little to improve savings rates among those on low incomes. We need a better framework and clearer incentives.

“The pensions auto-enrolment framework has helped address the retirement savings crisis by making it easier and more appealing to save. The next government must do the same to help low-income households to build up precautionary savings that could help insulate them from problem debt.”

Nuisance calls

“We welcome news that the government will commit resources to explore ways to protect vulnerable people from the harm caused by nuisance calls. We know that nuisance calls are more than just an everyday irritation and can cause serious harm, especially to those who may be financially vulnerable. Despite recent changes, Britain still lags behind in how it tackles this problem[3] and we hope that this package will help deliver the much needed improvements in the levels of consumer protection.

Notes to editors

1. An Action Plan on Problem Debt – StepChange Debt Charity (January 2015)
2. Budget 2015 (1.224)
3. Combatting Nuisance Calls and Texts - StepChange Debt Charity (February 2015)

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