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BUDGET 2009 NEWS: Govt outlines measures to boost financial advice

The Government has further cemented its pledge to streamline access to financial advice in the UK, after outlining a raft of measures in its Budget report today.

The Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report has set out a series of measures the Government will now put forward to support consumers needing access to financial advice.

Measures will include high quality financial guidance through the national Money Guidance service, due for full roll-out in 2010, and access for all citizens to simple, transparent, value for money products which meet their needs – including work through the Retail Financial Services Forum and legislative changes where needed.

It will also set out appropriate levels of consumer protection, including an effective framework of mortgage and credit regulation, and swift redress if things go wrong.

Government also plans to put competitive pressure on the industry to deliver consumer education around the importance of financial advice.

The Budget paper said: “The Government wants to assist people in making informed financial decisions and in accessing help if they need it. To build on the measures announced at the 2008 pre-Budget report, the Government is providing further support for those who need it most and helping to ensure that individuals are in a good position to manage their finances now, and as the economy recovers.”

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is expected to publish a White Paper on consumer rights this summer, setting out proposals to provide further help to people in financial difficulty.

Proposals include maintaining access for the financially excluded and tackling the illegal money lending sector, promoting responsible lending and borrowing and raising standards in debt collection.

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