Every Tameside 11-Year-Old to Get £10 Savings Bonus
Wednesday 16th March 2016 @ 09:49 by Tom Greggan

Tameside Council has opened a new front in its war on loan sharks by promising to open a credit union account for every 11-year-old in the borough and top it up with a £10 bonus where youngsters commit to saving regularly.

The move, which is one of the 16 pledges for 2016 announced by the executive leader, Cllr Kieran Quinn, at the last meeting of full council is designed to encourage financial responsibility from an early age and to protect residents from future exploitation by illegal money-lenders.

Tameside’s new youth council has lent its support with members naming financial responsibility as one of their key priorities. It is hoped the scheme will be able to link with the school citizenship curriculum.

Emily Sykes, Chairperson of Tameside Youth Council said “I think it’s a great idea to establish a savings account for each young person entering secondary school. Tameside Youth Council members are keen to look at ways in which young people can be better informed about money matters and learn how to make good decisions as we get to adulthood. If it’s used to it’s potential I think it could help in future financial situations such as university student loans.”

Charlotte Cooper, Tameside member of Youth Parliament said “The Youth Council welcome this opportunity for Tameside’s young people, no matter what their circumstances are. It will encourage conversation and promote an awareness around financial issues in advance of their adult years, something Tameside Youth Council are keen to see happen.”

Many other authorities across the UK have launched similar initiatives including Glasgow and the London Borough of Southwark.

Cllr Quinn said: “Despite our best efforts, loan sharks continue to cause misery for many Tameside residents. They prey on the people who are least able to pay them back and are often linked to other forms of organised crime. By encouraging a culture of saving early in life there’s a better chance that young people will stick with it and be protected from future exploitation by ruthless illegal money lenders.

“The £10 bonus is a small incentive for young people to start saving. It’s not a giveaway. The money can only be withdrawn if young people save regularly throughout the year.”