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Increasing support for those on lower incomes: is the Saving Gateway the best policy response?


  • Carl Emmerson

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Matthew Wakefield

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)


The government is committed to introducing a new savings account for people on lower incomes. This will provide a strong incentive for eligible individuals to save, or at least to hold financial assets, in these accounts. This paper describes possible rationales for this government intervention. It then presents new evidence on the characteristics of people with lower incomes and finds that many already have some financial assets, while those who do not often appear to have good reasons for why they may not want to be currently saving. The result is that the proposed Saving Gateway will be extremely difficult to target at those who might benefit in the way the government hopes. The danger is that the policy will be expensive relative to the number of genuine new savers and savings that it generates.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Emmerson & Matthew Wakefield, 2003. "Increasing support for those on lower incomes: is the Saving Gateway the best policy response?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(2), pages 167-195, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:24:y:2003:i:2:p:167-195

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Fry & Sandra Mihajilo & Roslyn Russell & Robert Brooks, 2008. "The Factors Influencing Saving in a Matched Savings Program: Goals, Knowledge of Payment Instruments, and Other Behavior," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 234-250, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making


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