I've been campaigning for years to ensure we educate our children to live in this competitive consumer economy - so it's great news that there's now a Bill being planned that looks to build upon compulsory financial education already offered in Wales. We need to ensure our children are equipped both to deal with dangers like payday loans, temptations like impulse spending, and planning a stable future for mortgages and, yes even one day, pensions.
Wales was already one step ahead of England in introducing compulsory financial education. However, this Bill demonstrates that policy makers in Wales are not prepared to sit on their laurels and want to push it another step forward. Music to my ears.
An Assembly Member has been setting out a potential new law that she hopes will help tackle the rising reliance on payday loans companies. Bethan Jenkins will introduce a backbench Financial Education and Inclusion Bill in the Senedd tomorrow.
If it wins support from other AMs, the bill would lead to more financial education in schools and later in life. It would also look at what more local councils could do, for instance in preventing access to payday lenders' websites on authority-owned computers.
Bethan Jenkins has praised existing financial education in schools, but says more can be done.
When I have debt management charities telling me that three in five people who go to see them with a loan they can’t afford to pay cannot even read their own bank balance sheet, I believe we as an Assembly just need to be doing a great deal more to end this. I see this bill as a way of opening up a far wider debate about debt management in our society, and believe that legislation that helps end the problems we are seeing will be all the better for everyone’s input.**