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Scottish Friendly calls for a Help to Save and Invest programme

  • The mutual is calling on the Government to implement a programme which encourages households to consider investments as well as saving in cash
  • Scottish Friendly is calling for cross party support to ensure that the scheme is implemented and sustained

Savings and ISA provider Scottish Friendly has today called for the government to introduce a Help to Save and Invest programme of substance in the Budget on 16th March.

Following David Cameron’s announcement that the Government intends to launch a Help to Save programme in the 2016 Budget, the mutual is calling for the Prime Minister to not only be true to his word, but to ensure that the scheme has a real and measurable impact on the savings ability of low pay households.

Scottish Friendly is calling for the scheme to introduce a matched pound for pound contribution up to £500 a year for households on low pay.

In order to achieve maximum effect, the focus of saving for the long-term should not be reserved to just cash savings, but to also include the option of stocks and shares investments.

Calum Bennie, savings expert at Scottish Friendly, commented:
With the recent 7th anniversary of low interest rates, it is vital that households are aware of all of their options for saving for their future, including investing in stocks and shares.

"This can only be achieved through clear consistent communication from the government that educates savers about alternatives to cash savings.

Bennie also calls for cross party support to ensure that such a programme, which David Cameron has recently announced he plans to introduce, is a long-term success.

Bennie continued:
While we have scant information on what David Cameron’s programme will comprise, few can deny that the rationale behind any programme launched to help those struggling to save will be anything but worthy.

However, the record of governments on programmes aimed at helping and lower income groups to save is patchy at best.

What is important, is that these schemes are not introduced in order to score political points. Time and again one highly lauded scheme is introduced by one government only to be abolished or watered down to drowning point by the next.

The value of investments in stocks and shares can go down as well as up and the investor may not get back the amount originally invested. Your original investment in a deposit account is guaranteed.

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