Financial Guidance and Claims Bill [HL] - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 24th October 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Kramer Baroness Kramer Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Treasury and Economy) 6:00 pm, 24th October 2017

Obviously, we support these amendments. The Government’s argument has always been that this issue will act as a constraint. However, we think it draws attention to the problem and empowers people. One of our great dissatisfactions historically with the provision of financial education and financial capability is that it does not seem to create people who are more financially capable when they need to be. Amendment 10 raises once again the issue of timing and relevance. We are all human beings and we can go through various forms of training but if we then never use those skills or that information but require it 10, 15 or 20 years later, that is the point at which it needs to be recalled rather than having a tick-box exercise to show that at the age of 16 we took a class on those issues. We want this education to be relevant and to underscore the direction that I hope very much the single financial guidance body will want to take, but is by no means required to take, of looking for relevance and at situations where there is critical need, care leavers being one of the most obvious examples of that. We have known for years that care leavers get themselves into enormous trouble because of their lack of awareness of these issues but no body has felt it necessary to step into the breach. Here we have the perfect body to step into the breach. That would be entirely consistent with what it is doing. That is the mood and spirit of these amendments. I hope very much that the Government take the issues on board because were we not to see results that responded to the spirit and meaning behind these amendments, we would have a body that was very suboptimal. I think the House would agree with that.