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Is the government’s free advice proposition a good idea?

The government is proposing to introduce a free financial advice service in a bid to ensure everyone has access to quick and simple generic financial advice. The government has set up a task foce to explre options for the service which it hopes to have up and running by 2013.

So this week Mortgage Strategy asks: Is the government’s free advice proposition a good idea?

Ed Vattis, 27, media researcher

The government should concentrate on stopping banks lending so much money as that would stop people getting into financial trouble. While offering free advice sounds good in theory, the government should clamp down on all this lending.

Jim Stanton, 60, site manager

I think this would be a good idea as it would educate people. And I think it could help financial advisers in the longer term as it would make people more aware of their options.

Richard Hemmings, 31, sales manager

This sounds like a good idea. Sorting out financial matters such as pensions is complicated. Even with mortgages there is a lot of information available so the idea of the government offering independent advice is a step in the right direction.

Jo Liner, 22, account manager

This is definitely something I would use as I’m looking to buy a property with my boyfriend at the moment. I’ve no idea how to approach this and it can be a difficult and stressful process for first-time buyers. If this means that someone could guide me through the options available it would be a good thing.

Paul Malone, 45, builder

The government is out of touch with the housing market – it should concentrate on building social housing. Also, it can’t manage its own finances so how will it be able to manage other people’s? Instead, its focus should be on monitoring banks.

Murad Kemal, 26, management consultant

Anything that is free is a good thing. I would be interested in getting free financial advice. But with mortgages I would probably look myself.

Julian Burrett, 38, architect

This would not interest me because I am happy to pay for advice. It seems a bit like Big Brother. I think more emphasis on the understanding of financial planning is needed, and this should be done via the education system.

Rahul Prabhakur, 26, senior consultant

Financial education is required but it depends on the kind of advisers involved. It’s good to get professional advice from a broker. I think a professional’s advice is more reliable and gives you better returns.


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