All-party group to tackle financial literacy problems

The first all-party parliamentary group to focus on accounting issues is to
address improving financial literacy among the general public as the task that
will kick off its work.

Members of the group, who meet on 5 June, also expect to be able to use the
expertise of the profession in holding the government to account on financial
The Associate Parliamentary Group on Business, Finance and Accountancy has been
set up with the intention of improving dialogue between government and finance
experts, particularly those in the accounting profession.

Chaired by Tory MP and chartered accountant Mark Hoban, the group will also
look to influence policymaking. ‘The first topic is financial literacy, but we
will try to demonstrate the input that accountants can have with their expertise
across a broad range of issues,’ said Hoban, who is shadow financial secretary
to the Treasury.

The move is another sign of the influence that the profession is trying to
lever on parliament. ACCA has also been looking to grow its stature among
ministers and policymakers.

Hoban, said the group would provide a ‘vital mechanism’ through which
policymakers can hear the voice of business and pointed out it would assist
parliament in ‘holding the government to account’.

The group has been established with cross-party support, with senior
representatives from the three main parties. John McFall MP, chairman of the
Commons Treasury select committee, joins Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor
Vincent Cable and Labour Peer Baroness Goudie.

Labour MP Sarah McCarthy Fry, a management accountant, will serve as
secretary and Putney MP Justine Greening will act as treasurer.

The group is supported by the ICAEW. Institute chief Eric Anstee said the
group’s goal was to get parliament and business talking together on key public
policy issues.

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