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Age Concern set to back scheme for free advice

Age Concern is set to back LibDem proposals to provide free basic and generic financial advice to the public.

At the Money Marketing/ Cicero Consulting summit in June, LibDem Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable put forward plans for a network of free financial advice centres, funded by the Government and industry.

The aim would be to provide free generic financial advice to sections of the public which the LibDems believe are excluded from financial services.

The plans were costed at around 400m, with the financial industry shouldering most of the burden, with some Government help.

Age Concern director general Gordon Lishman told a LibDem fringe event in Blackpool: “With regard to work we may be doing on LibDem proposals for a network of free basic advice – watch this space.”

LibDem pension spokesman Lord Oakeshott told the event that this network was needed to support the introduction of low-cost products which would not take off unless the target audience is given access to them.

Cable brought up the issue again at another fringe event, suggesting there is a gap that needs to be filled before someone reaches the stage where they need the help of Citizen’s Advice.

Cable said: “Just a small amount of advice from these networks will do an awful lot to restore confidence in the financial services industry.”

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