Money Advice Service to be scrapped in Budget
The Money Advice Service (MAS) is to be scrapped and replaced with a smaller body which offers support specifically for people in financial difficulty.
According to the FT, the Chancellor is expected to announce the closure of the service, which is largely web based, in his Budget speech later today.
The service offers free guidance on issues such as budgeting and managing money, savings and investing, pensions, debt advice, mortgages and insurance.
Launched in 2010, MAS has faced extensive criticism by MPs and financial advisers, who are responsible for funding the free service, for being expensive and largely unnecessary as many of its services are offered through other organisations.
In December 2014, a draft copy of a review commissioned by the Treasury recommended that the MAS budget be cut from £81.1m to between £50m and £65m. It also suggested that its staff should be cut from 130 to around 50.
The report said that the division which dealt with mortgages and savings should shoulder the majority of cuts after noting a ‘high degree of duplication between MAS and websites which offer content on financial issues’.
A MAS spokesperson said: “We will work with the government to fully consider the implications of any announcement. In the meantime we will continue to fulfil our statutory role to help people make the most of their money.”