14 November 2019
If you’re covering today’s personal and economic well-being figures from the Office for National Statistics, please see following comment from Jane Goodland, corporate affairs director at Quilter:
"With the festive season there is always a dramatic increase in spending so people will be pleased to hear that as a nation the second quarter this year saw a year on year boost in our economic well-being. With real household income and financial wealth per head growing in the three months to June 2019 compared with the same quarter last year, people may feel confident about their personal financial situation.
"However, these rosy headline figures disguise a chillier landscape. The household debt to income ratio also showed an increase of 0.4% compared with the previous quarter – the first time this figure has increased since the third quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, household spending per head has grown consecutively over the past fourteen quarters and the latest growth is on necessary expenditure such as utility bills and rent. In fact people are spending less on restaurants and cafés, which has now decreased for two consecutive quarters.
"It’s not surprising then that large parts of the UK population are feeling increasingly stretched. While net financial wealth per head grew by 3.8% year on year, that growth is only felt by a small proportion of households as it is more unequally distributed across the UK than income and other types of wealth such as property, physical, or private pension wealth.
"We are a nation with fragile financial resilience and with pessimism growing about the overall economy that should be keeping politicians awake at night. There is no easy fix to this issue, but high on the list should be fixing the root cause – a lack of financial education and self-assurance.
"As a matter of urgency ensuring future generations should be equipped to be good with money. An evaluation report of the industry-supported KickStart Money* programme, shows that following financial lessons, two out of three primary aged children were actively working towards a saving goal, more than double the national average. On top of this over 75% of the children that received the lessons delivered by the charity, MyBnk, were able to delay spending. In short, financial education works.
"This is not just responsible policymaking – it is policymaking that has the power to sway voters. Research from ComRes shows an astonishing 72% of Brits support the teaching of financial education in primary schools. When made aware that attitudes toward money are formed as young as age seven there was an even more support.
"As the major parties put the finishing touches on their party manifestos they should promise the inclusion of financial education in primary schools."
* KickStart Money is the work of twenty of Britain's leading savings and investment firms, brought together by TISA. The aim is to fill the gap in financial education provision in UK primary schools, by funding the provision of financial education, delivered by the charity MyBnk, to 20,000 primary school children over three years.