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Helping Australians to spend wisely and save well.



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C050/04

11 June 2004

HELPING AUSTRALIANS TO SPEND WISELY AND SAVE WELL

It should be a natural instinct for all Australians to spend wisely, save well and plan for tomorrow, Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Senator Helen Coonan, said today at the launch of the Consumer and Financial Literacy Taskforce’s discussion paper.

“The marketplace has become increasingly complex with the introduction of an array of financial products to meet the needs of everyday Australians,” Senator Coonan said.

“The development of an information and education strategy to improve the ability of all Australians to make sensible judgements about their personal finances is essential for our national well-being.

“In February this year, the Government announced the formation of a high-level Consumer and Financial Literacy Taskforce, headed by Paul Clitheroe, to develop a plan to improve levels of consumer and financial literacy.

“Since then, the Taskforce has been busy examining the wide range of financial literacy information and programs that already exist in Australia as well as looking at the overseas experience.

“The Taskforce’s discussion paper, released today, provides a useful reference point for tackling the issue of financial literacy and the Taskforce will now consult widely across Australia.

“Formulating the first-ever national strategy for consumer and financial literacy complements the Government’s regulatory actions to protect consumers and ensure the safety of financial products.

“I urge all those with an interest in consumer and financial literacy to make a submission in response to the Consumer and Financial Literacy Taskforce’s discussion paper or to attend the discussion forums which will be held around Australia.

“I would like to thank the members of the Taskforce, and especially the Chairman, Mr Paul Clitheroe, for their outstanding contribution to this issue of great importance.”

An electronic copy of the Taskforce’s discussion paper - Australian Consumers and Money - is available at cfltaskforce.treasury.gov.au.