Which? calls for finance lessons as young suffer

Elizabeth Fournier

WHICH? is calling for compulsory personal finance education to be introduced in schools, after a survey carried out by the consumer campaigning charity found that young people aged 18-29 years old are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis.

Which?’s quarterly economic survey, published tomorrow, shows that young adults’ living standards have fallen by twice the national average – minus 1.8 per cent compared to minus 0.9 per cent.

“Our research shows the extent to which young people are bearing the brunt of this economic crisis,” said the charity’s executive director, Richard Lloyd.

“The recession has hit them hardest, they’re struggling to get on the housing ladder, dipping in to savings to pay for monthly expenses and relying on friends and family for hand outs to get by.”

The research also said that the UK’s young have the highest debt to income ratio in the country – on average members of the 18-29 age group owe 47 per cent of their annual income, compared to a national average of 21 per cent.

One in 10 people in the group that Which? spoke to said they had been unable to pay a bill in the past month, while 45 per cent admitted they always or often run out of money each month, compared to 38 per cent across all consumers.

Which? has long been calling for compulsory financial education in schools so young people are properly equipped to manage their money better,” said Lloyd.