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Savings Policy in the United Kingdom

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      07-31-2009, 11:39 AM
Savings Policy in the United Kingdom
Asset ownership is seen as having an increasingly influential link to
a variety of social outcomes. While the UK has experienced increases
in economic wealth and improvements in overall living standards over
the past 40 years, trends in asset ownership have reversed. More
recently, 15 years of economic stability led to a feeling of increased
financial security and individual savings were eroded in a boom of
consumerism. The distribution of this increase in wealth has been
unequal and the distribution of asset ownership follows a similar
pattern. The link between asset ownership and social outcomes has
explicitly led to the UK government directing a selection of policy
interventions towards incentivizing personal saving.

This paper explores the savings landscape in the UK, assessing current
savings behavior and reflecting on the policy direction that has been
adopted in relation to savings over the last decade. It examines
policies that encourage saving and asset ownership, and how such
policies interrelate with broader government objectives. It then
identifies specific interventions that have attracted international
attention, such as the Child Trust Fund, before concluding with an
assessment of the policy implications and a discussion of the future
role of savings.
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