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For Oral Answer on : 23/11/2023
Question Number(s): 112 Question Reference(s): 51546/23
Department: Finance
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Minister for Finance to outline his policy with respect to credit unions; the action he is taking or plans to take to encourage credit unions to foster good saving habits among young people; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


I thank the Deputy for his question.


My policy, and that of Minister Carroll MacNeill is to support the progression of credit unions and enable the movement to become a composite provider of financial services to all members of society.


The Deputy’s question is focussed on young people. The core ethos of credit unions is to serve all its members and its community. Credit unions reach the younger people of its community through a myriad of initiatives including sponsorship of local teams, attendance at local events and  supporting students by offering funds in the form of educational bursaries or grants.


Encouraging children to save teaches them important financial lessons such as planning, budgeting and money management skills. A huge part of the ethos of the credit union movement is financial education for everyone in the community. Credit unions aim to ensure that future generations are financially educated and empowered.


Credit unions offer children’s savings account. These accounts are for members who are under 16 years of age, with these accounts being the sole property of the minor in question. To open a children’s saving account, the child will generally be asked to come into their local credit union with a parent or guardian to open the account.


Junior Savers Week takes place each year in September and aims to raise awareness around the importance of children saving. The most recent Junior Savers Week took place from 25th September – 1st October 2023. Junior Savers Week is designed to offer fun and enjoyable activities for children, while also highlighting the value of money and the benefits of prudent saving and spending.


I encourage all young people, and indeed all people to get in touch with your local credit union, open an account and learn about all the services they can offer.