Debt message to politicians

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's "A 500 word debt message to politicians" blog. Please read the blog first, as the discussion follows it.

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Comments

  • southernscouser
    southernscouser Posts: 33,745 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Very good article as always Martin! :T

    But what the hell does 'transparency' mean? :confused: :rotfl:

    I always get the impression that politicians use it so people like me spend forever trying to work out what it means as opposed to listening to the lies and spiel they are spouting out! :p
  • No real government money is going into schools to teach effective financial education (as opposed to hot air from politicians saying it is important).

    And the teachers themselves haven't got much of a clue if we are honest, even if money was provided and a curriculum produced.

    Is MSE after some government money to promote this vital service?
  • bunking_off
    bunking_off Posts: 1,264 Forumite
    Think that hits the nail on the head. It's always bemused me about the wide variety of things that kids are taught, yet seemingly we don't teach them the basics they need to survive adult life....like what interest rates mean and the principles of compounding.

    Sure, there is remedial action needed to educate the adult populous, but I would have thought the first thing to do is to start young to stop exacerbating the problem.

    However, before we get to that there's a cultural issue to be addressed. We seem to live in a society where people glorify that they can't do basic maths, and where journos by their nature come via an educational stream that encourages the notion that literature = real intelligence and numerate/scientific subjects = nerds.
    I really must stop loafing and get back to work...
  • Do politicians want the younger generation to know just how tough it's going to be to climb out of the student debt hole that has been dug for them?

    Or to learn about the intergenerational transfer of wealth via increased taxes on the young that will be needed to pay for the [state and public sector] pensions of the older bulge generation thanks to government neglect?

    We might even start to get student political activism back on the agenda, but of a different nature to the 1960s.
  • It always amazes me that in such a busy forum as MSE that there will be literally hundreds of posts about a mis-priced TV that will never be honoured or a pointless freebie, but never more than a few comments about important articles like this.

    I don't know how many words over 500 were used, but the article seemed to be to hit the spot, in my opinion.

    Let's hope that its sentiments are taken on board by those in positions of power who read it and who may be able to have some influence on such matters.

    :A emphatiC_hanK :A
  • We all use money, need money and like to save money. But as a previous poster said there is one thing saving 20p on a loaf of bread and another taking responsibility for your finances.

    We need specialist classes from clones of Martin in schools now-we are wasting our country's resources.
    Most of our money is going towards propping up China's economy not ours!

    I want a future where kids are proud to teach adults to manage their finances the way they teach them to use a computer.

    Martin you are the Jamie Oliver of money-lets start a real campaign to get the country educated and we would all be richer!!
  • kfn1502
    kfn1502 Posts: 22 Forumite
    I was an exam invigilator at my daughters' school for a while. One year I supervised the GCSE mock exams for the kids with learning difficulties. One girl was asked, in her extra time, if she needed any more time. She looked and looked and looked at the question. No, she said, I have no idea what the answer is. The question was: 3x + 1 = 13 Find x.

    Why are our schools teaching kids to 'find x' when what many of them really need to know is 'how to open a bank account', 'what's an APR', who are Provident (and similar door-to-door loan sellers) and why are they such a ripoff, and more really basic, practical stuff.

    In our area, we're hoping to soon offer training courses in our local secondary schools, particularly targeting kids leaving at the end of Years 11 and 13. It may be a drop in the bucket, but we have to start somewhere!
  • k_sta
    k_sta Posts: 39 Forumite
    Hi All,

    I am an aussie traveller who has just returned to oz after many years in the UK using sites like this.

    One thing I have noticed here about this issue is when I got back the government is running a public campaign about understanding finance.

    See
    https://www.understandingmoney.gov.au

    I like this one addressing events in life and how they effect finances:
    http://www.understandingmoney.gov.au/content/consumer/events/

    and a government run loan calculator:
    http://www.understandingmoney.gov.au/content/consumer/tools/

    I have yet to compare it to a bank calculator.

    Is this the sort of thing you are talking about for government to do Martin??

    K
  • Of course we should be responsible borrowers but don't imagine the politicians will help.
    If you think of any aspect of society this government has messed it up. Health, Education, Immigration, the list is endless, but they win elections. Why. It's the economy, stupid. If you are (or feel) well off you won't vote for change. How does a Chancellor of the Exchequer get a vibrant economy? By getting you to spend of course. How to do that? Simple encourage spending by discouraging saving. Put money in your pension? Not when Brown nicks £5billion a year from them. Remember PEPS. Simple just bung money in. Too easy so Brown invents ISAs which nobody understands. House prices going up and up. That's alright, it makes you feel rich and if you can't afford to buy you rent leaving you with money to spend. Don't imagine the government will ever discourage house price hikes. No way.
    So by all means encourage responsible borrowing, Martin, but don't expect any political help no matter where your articles appear. It's a smokescreen!
  • I tutor GCSE maths and the gaps in the syllabus are woeful.

    It should include:

    1. How to calculate income tax and national insurance

    2. The cost of buying a house, including stamp duty, estate agent fees, moving costs, mortgate repayments, etc.

    3. How to work out a weekly budget.

    4. The financial difference between saving £1000 and then buying something, as opposed to borrowing £1000 and paying it back over the same time period.

    5. Literary criticism of debt adverts. ('How is this product misleading?' What are they trying to avoid telling you? etc.)

    6. Criticism of graphs from newspapers and finanacial adverts, showing how they use tricks like starting the growth curve in the worst year to make gains look as high as possible.
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