Closing the savings gap? The role of the Saving Gateway

Authors: Sharon Collard, Stephen McKay
Journal: Local Economy
Volume: 21
Published online:
February 2006
14709325 (electronic) 02690942 (paper)

The 2001 election manifesto committed Labour to introducing two innovative policies designed to increase savings and assets among future generations, and the low-income families of today. The Child Trust Fund aims to provide all children with an endowment of assets when they reach the age of 18. Child Trust Fund accounts became available in April 2005 to all children born from 1 September 2002. The Saving Gateway offers a new savings account for lower-income families, designed to encourage savings. The first Saving Gateway pilot took place between 2002 and 2004; a second, larger pilot is currently underway. This article outlines the key findings from the evaluation of the first Saving Gateway pilot. Overall, the results are positive the scheme has encouraged participants to save, and to save regularly. In addition, it seems to have resulted in positive psychological and attitudinal changes among a significant proportion of participants.

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