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Investing in the future

CREDIT where it is due:

Glasgow City Council is to be congratulated for its efforts to encourage a responsible attitude to money management among its young citizens.

The Future Savers scheme, launched yesterday, will eventually see every young Glaswegian given an account with a safe community credit union. The council will open thousands of new savings accounts for S1 pupils, with an initial deposit of £10 in each one.

It is, of course, important to foster the savings habit, even though today's rates of interest are far from tempting, a situation that may well be remedied in due course as a result of economic recovery. However, just as important is to promote a sensible attitude to borrowing. The aim of the scheme is to stem the rise of high-cost payday lenders, and keep the next generation out of the clutches of loan sharks.

Research carried out by the council during the past calendar year suggests around 100,000 of Glasgow's residents regularly use non-standard forms of credit, fuelling a local market worth more than £57m a year. If the city is to flourish, attitudes to money must change. This investment may well pay rich dividends in the long term.

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