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25 cross-party parliamentarians call on the Prime Minister to urgently improve young people’s financial resilience

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25 cross-party parliamentarians call on the Prime Minister to urgently improve young people’s financial resilience in an open letter sent today to combat the ‘national financial capability crisis’

In an open letter sent today, 25 cross-party MPs and Peers have called on the Prime Minister to express support for the benefits of primary-aged financial education in the UK, and to urge him to ensure that every “primary-aged child receives an effective and high-quality financial education by 2030.

The letter states that “the gap in our education system has left our children unprepared for the real world, and we must act quickly to combat the national financial capability crisis” and points to factors such as Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis as exacerbating financial difficulties further.

The letter also encourages the use of unclaimed dormant assets, as part of the Government’s Dormant Assets Scheme, to “fund the development and delivery of financial education in primary aged children” and to ensure that teachers are given access to resource and support they’ll need to effectively deliver financial education.

The cross-party letter was sent to the Prime Minister following a parliamentary event, co-ordinated by financial education charity the Centre for Financial Capability, where financial education charities and parliamentarians came together to show their support for greater early intervention financial education.

These calls for early intervention financial education follow research by the Money and Pensions Service which has found that money habits form as early as 7-years-old, making primary-aged financial education an important means to improve financial capability and financial literacy in the UK. Financial education is not currently on the curriculum at primary-aged schools and research conducted by the Centre for Financial Capability suggests that currently only 1 in 5 primary-aged children have access to financial education at their school.

Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, said:

I was delighted to sign this cross-party letter coordinated by The Centre for Financial Capability. The UK is experiencing a financial capability crisis which is having a significant effect on our young people. It is crucial that, as parliamentarians, we use every tool available to us to ensure we can equip them with the necessary tools to develop the skills and behaviors necessary to navigate critical financial decisions in later life. Financial education is the key to elevating young people and preparing them for adulthood. Equipped with the right tools, young people can start understanding and managing money with positive habits that will serve them all their lives, starting at primary age.

Stewart Perry, Director of the Centre for Financial Capability, said:

It is encouraging to see so many MPs and Peers, from across the political spectrum, come together to support this vital ask to the Prime Minister to prioritise improving financial education for children and young people. As Director of a financial education charity, I understand first-hand the urgent need for financial literacy and capability in this country, particularly as we face economic uncertainty and difficulties. By equipping children with financial education, they’ll develop the skills necessary to develop positive money habits, which will help with their whole lives. I am thankful that so many parliamentarians are supporting this important cause, and I hope the Prime Minister hears our asks.” 

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