COMMONS

Government agrees to an independent review of Money Advice Service

29 March 2014

The Treasury Committee has today published a letter from Sajid Javid.

The letter is responding to the Treasury Committee's report on the Money Advice Service (MAS) in which the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, confirms that the Government agrees with the Committee’s central recommendation and will commission an independent review of the MAS.

Commenting on Mr Javid’s letter, the Chairman of the Treasury Committee, Andrew Tyrie, said:

"Given the seriousness of the problems identified at the MAS during our inquiry, the Treasury Committee considered an independent review to be essential.

I welcome the Government’s change of mind. It now agrees that this review should be independent, rather than Treasury-led.

Our report called for the results of the review to be published no later than summer 2014. Given that the MAS has now been asked by the Treasury to play a role in creating the new financial guidance for pensioners,  it is even more important that the Government gets on with it.

The first stop should be publication of the Terms of Reference. In respect of these, the Treasury Committee set out a number of questions we expect any independent reviewer to address.

The MAS was not in a healthy state and some worthy attempts have now been made to reform it. The jury remains out on whether the MAS should be retained in its current form.

The new leadership at the MAS have sought to reassure us that many of the problems identified in our report have been addressed. A central task of the review will be to assess whether we should continue to channel £80 million or thereabouts each year through the MAS.

We will pay close attention both to the Terms of Reference and to the conclusions of the review."

Further information

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