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Budget 2016: ‘Help to save’ scheme: new scheme needs to be accessible to the poorest to be effective - IPPR

In response to the Government’s announcement in the Budget that it will introduce a ‘Help to Save’ scheme to encourage those on low incomes to save, IPPR says government should learn the lessons of the Saving Gateway pilots if the scheme is to be effective.

Clare McNeil, IPPR Associate Director for work and families, said:

"The government has realised it made a mistake in scrapping the last Labour government’s Savings Gateway because it was ‘unaffordable’. It must now learn the lessons from the extensive piloting of that scheme. Above all these showed importance of product design over interest rates and tax relief when it comes to encouraging saving for low income households.

"Over half of households with a weekly income of less than £300 have no savings at all, so the lack of a savings culture will be a significant hurdle for this scheme to overcome. IPPR’s research has shown that although affordability is the largest barrier to saving, mistrust of financial institutions is a key issue.

"People need to be convinced that saving is a safe and easy thing to do - accounts offered through the Post Office and supermarkets are likely to be more attractive than accounts offered through banks, for example. And with almost one million in the UK still without a bank account, people should be able to pay in deposits in a range of ways, including the option of making direct deposits from welfare income."

Contact:

Sofie Jenkinson, s.jenkinson@ippr.org, 07981 023031
Lester Holloway, l.holloway@ippr.org, 07585 772 633

Notes to Editors:

Previous IPPR research includes: Designing a life course savings account (Dolphin 2011) See:

http://www.ippr.org/files/images/media/files/publication/2011/05/Lifecourse%20Savings%20Accounts%20Apr2011_1839.pdf?noredirect=1

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