The Economy and Work

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 2:57 pm on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Yvonne Fovargue Yvonne Fovargue Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills) 2:57 pm, 26th May 2016

I will indeed. I read that report with interest, as financial education has always been an interest of mine, but I have to say that it is not a silver bullet.

All efforts need to be made to keep people out of the hands of the payday lenders and the rent-to-own sector. We need to make sure that support is given to alternative providers of finance such as Fair for You, and that they have a level playing field. For example, real-time data from everyone, including the banks, must be available to new market entrants so that they can make fair assessments of lending. We must also make sure that those data are accurate, as I have had reports of data from various companies being quite inaccurate.

Talking of fairness and level playing fields, I support the calls for transitional arrangements to help the women who have been adversely affected by the mishandled increasing of the state pension age. Perhaps I should declare an interest in this as a woman who was born in the 1950s. I urge the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Vara, to revisit this unfairness during the passage of the pensions Bill.

I welcome the savings scheme, but I would like it to be designed to reflect the real lives of people on a low income: the real life that has bumps in the road on quite a few occasions; the real life where sometimes buying a new pair of shoes or going out for the day with the family is more important than putting money away for a rainy day. I hope that the Government will recognise this in the design of the scheme.